I justify it on the grounds that as far as protein goes there's more bang for the buck.
Northern folks can't afford to be so choosy when there aren't any staple producing plants around. (Or a Von's for that matter)
Life feeds on life.
That is NOT to say that a diet high in f/v is unbeneficial; I strive towards a more vegetarian lifestlye. It is just simply not an option where I live.
Da Bush, Alaska. Check out photos on my member page.
I'm curious about whether any of these recurrent "discussions" about vegetarianism have ever changed a mind? It's OK. I like watching my dog bark at squirrels, even though he's never caught one. The squirrel doesn't mind either, and makes animated squirrel noises back. It's fun to watch, but sometimes a bit tiresome in predictability. Dog-squirrel interaction doesn't change the minds of dogs or squirrels, either. As a vegetarian myself, I know the motivations and challenges, and I know the well-meaning of newer members who have not seen these repetitive discussions, and I know the offense that nonvegetarians take when vegetarians get "out of line". I usually fly under the radar whenever possible - it doesn't change minds. So that's my question - does anyone know of anyone who has changed their mind about this topic because of these predictable discussions?
"How do atheists justify eating meat on an ethical basis?
As we all evolved from common ancestors, and atheists reject the idea that we have god given dominion over the other animals, what ethical justification is there for not considering then suffering of other species?"
There's also the issue of trying to conflate vegetarianism with atheism where there is no correlation necessitated or even implied, nor is there a necessary correlation of theism (Abrahamic religions are only three of the "not believed" god constructs, not all of them, some of them prohibit the eating of meat) and those who chose to eat meat. That this connection is loaded into the premise is disingenuous to begin with, the whole thing is blatant question begging, something more associated with theists more than atheists, no?
"It seems that to discriminate on the grounds of species is just as arbitrary as to discriminate on the basis of skin colour, sex etc."
Then we have; "...is just as arbitrary as to discriminate on the basis of skin colour, sex etc."
Seriously? Why not just go whole hog (pun intended) and try to hitch non-vegitarianism to genocide, or at least pedophilia and rape? In for a penny, in for a pound.
"I base my ethics on minimising unnecessary suffering and death and promoting well being and happiness. What are others ethics based upon?"
Add to the above, basic human dignity and intellectual honesty, to start.
BTW: What Dawkins thinks about the ethics of non-vegitarianism, who cares? …He isn't exactly a polymath, in fact …he often struggles to discuss things outside his purview and has been known to drop a logic bomb or two. Besides that, whole argument Dawkins/Einstein gambit is just an appeal to authority fallacy, easily Godwin'd with the Nazi Party.
Well, i guess a couple thoughts pop into my head:
Mind you, i am speaking here as one to whom a vegetarian diet is not a harm, and like most people in my family i have chosen to not eat most animal species. But i live in a community where many people have attempted veganism and vegetarianism, and the majority of them contracted health problems as a result of their diet.
I do understand many who sell universal vegetariansm/veganism believe such diets are perfectly healthy for all humans (and their canine and feline companions). In which case i and them simply need to agree to disagree.
To clarify, just because i don't hold humans to a special set of ethical standards doesn't mean i don't hold them to ethical standards at all. I would agree the ability to discern the impact of one's actions gives more responsibility to make ethical choices. For example, if i had a chimp in my family, or a dog or some other reasoning creature for that matter, i would teach them to the best of my ability to choose cooperative behavior over selfish behavior. Or on the flip side, i support the common social and legal practice of granting certain leniencies to humans who are not fully able to understand the ethical ramifications of their actions (young children, folks with certain learning disabilities, etc.)
But that's not really here nor there. Like many folks, i find ethically complex actions that stave off misery much less worrisome than similar actions that simply add to one's gratification. Common other examples: causing physical damage to another out of self-defense versus out of unprovoked aggression. Or stealing to stave off hunger or other basic needs versus stealing to increase wealth beyond basic means.
I find the act of killing for basic nutrition to be much less ethically problematic than most other forms of killing (territory, greed, pecking orders, etc.)
Perhaps where we might disagree is this: "For most people then, it is unethical." For i actually believe the minority of humans can maintain reasonable quality lives with zero meat consumption. I would at agree that most people, in the U.S. at least, could stand to eat significantly less meat than they currently do. Health concerns i've personally seen run the gamut from advanced anemia, decreased immunity, chronic headaches, digestive problems, persistent mental and physical fatigue, severe depression, etc. But i notice if i google health problems vegetarianism i see a number of lists of a more medical nature.
Sometimes these things get addressed through more careful shift in diet, but ultimately some folks are unable to get any dietary shift to work and were forced to go back to some degree of meat consumption, after which these problems often instantly vanish(!)