Typically, people become vegetarians either because they believe it is better for their health, or they hate the thought that they are responsible for the death of an animal. Either of these two rationales are good rationales for vegetarianism.
Consider, however, that regardless, if man ceases to eat deer, lions still will hunt deer for food. By this token, if man were to release all of it’s goats, cows, sheep, and rams into the wild, all this will do is provide lions, tigers, and cougars with a lot more options for their cuisine. It perhaps is the case they are so overwhelmed with the abundance, they overeat. We arrive then at an important insight, which is, man’s abstinence from eating of meat does nothing to spare herbivorous animals from being killed for food.
While non-eating of meat must be regarded as noble, it does nothing to spare herbivorous animals from being killed for food.
If we take as given the fact that, in presence of transition of mankind to vegetarianism, herbivorous animals still will be killed for food, the relative painlessness of the act of killing comes up as a mitigating consideration. In this respect, with man having invented almost painless approaches to killing of animals for food, relative to lions, tigers, or cougars, in so far as the act of killing of herbivorous animals for food is concerned, man subjects animals to much less pain.
With focus on pain caused to animals, we arrive at the inference that animals would prefer to be killed for food by man, as opposed to being killed for food by carnivorous animals, such as lions, tigers, and cougars. On this basis, we conclude that man’s killing of animals for food cannot be deemed to be irrational or barbaric, as such arrive at a rational rationale for killing of animals for food. While it can be argued that lions, tigers, and cougars still would, alongside man, kill herbivorous animals for food, the fact that some herbivores arrive at a more painless death ensures an equilibrium in which man kills animals for food remains more painless, on average, than one in which only carnivorous animals kill herbivores for food.
If we consider pain experienced by animals that are killed for food, animals that are killed for food will prefer to be killed and eaten by man.
An equilibrium within which man kills herbivores for food is, on average, a more painless equilibrium for herbivores than one in which all of mankind went vegetarian.
As the story goes in the Bible, it was God who gave man permission to kill and eat animals for food. Prior to receipt of this express and explicit permission, man had subsisted on fruits, vegetables, cereals, roots or tubers, and legumes. On basis of this divine fiat, clearly, eating of animals cannot be deemed irrational or barbaric.
Consistent with permission from God, science has documented the reality that there exist proteins that only are produced by the sorts of animals man typically eats, animals such as goats, cows, sheep, or rams — animals that are classified as red meat.
Whether you believe the biblical story or not, there exist scientific merits to eating of meat, particularly, red meat.
The benefit of the divine fiat resides in the spiritual reality that man cannot be accused of basing eating of animals on the notion that herbivores are inferior in their constitution to man. If God created animals, and has given man permission to eat herbivores, it cannot simultaneously be the case that man’s killing and eating of animals is predicated on some assumption of superiority.
If we are to complete the cycle of rationality, it must be the case that animals that are killed for food get something out of it. If they do not get something out of it, God cannot be deemed to have created them for anything else, but then, man always would have eaten meat, meaning if we believe the Biblical story, we arrive at a contradiction.
If God created animals with an original purpose different from being eaten by man, clearly, the divine fiat that provides man with authority to eat herbivores must incorporate some benefit for herbivores.
If we stick to the Biblical story, the Book of Revelation declares that alongside the spirit of man, spirits of animals are in the presence of God. The animals that are adopted as representatives of all animals are the lion, the cow, and the eagle, meaning we have representation of carnivorous animals, herbivorous animals, and birds, some of which are carnivorous, and others herbivores.
What exactly does this imply? Well, for an answer we would have to dig far too deep into Christian Eschatology. Suffice it to say that the Bible confirms that spirits of animals have a higher purpose to which, upon death, they are able to attain. In this respect, consider that while Indians consider cows too sacred to eat, in Christian Eschatology, one of the avenues via which cows attain to a higher purpose, is via willingness to serve as food for man. So then, Jesus declares all humane farming of cows for food spiritually legal and for cows, spiritually emancipating.
The Indian considers the cow sacred, as such refuses to eat. Christians, via their eating of cows enable spirits of cows attain to a higher purpose in God. Since Indians typically are not Christian, and Christians typically are not Indian, it would appear we do not arrive at a contradiction.
In absence of divine fiat from God, it can be argued that man predicates killing of herbivores for food on superiority of worth of a man in relation to worth of an animal. It would seem then that all men who eat meat, Christian or otherwise owe a debt of gratitude to Jesus for saving us from accusation of predication of killing of herbivores for food on some intrinsic superiority.
If you eat meat, the “you kill animals for food because you consider yourself superior” accusation fails only because of Jesus Christ.
Seems all men who eat meat owe Jesus some debt of gratitude.
In presence of importance of the divine fiat from Jesus, I submit that the terms, carnivore, or carnivorous are too barbaric a description of man’s consumption of meat. I submit then that man who consumes meat be referred to as, “he or she who gives gratitude to God for opportunity to eat meat.” In short form, ‘Gratitarian’. This it seems to me is only fair and square.