I’m going to write some thoughts on each of the main reasons why people would avoid eating meat: animals, the environment, our health.
There are other reasons, surely, but these are most common.
The animals are the touchiest of the topics. They bring out the vitriol in the comments on online articles, and in person. I don’t think you have to be an animal lover, or a vegetarian to have compassion for other living creatures. Whether a cow is destined to be turned into hamburger or compelled to make milk, it seems like at the very minimum we could reduce their suffering in making these sacrifices.
I doubt there is an argument that I haven’t read (or heard) about why we should eat meat that can outweigh the indisputable environmental impact we are causing just so we can eat more meat than is even healthy for us. I haven’t even been able to convince some of my closest family members to look at real footage from factory farms. I think we all know it is bad, but we don’t really want to know how awful because that will make our lives more difficult.
If you are hoping your meat was from animals that didn’t suffer terribly, consider that 99% of the meat we buy is from factory farms. The problems with factory farms deserve their own post. Just because something TASTES good, does that overwhelm all other reasons for making hard choices?
Yes, we CAN eat animals, but does that mean causing extreme suffering is acceptable? As humans, we need to show humanity. We have all the power. And they can’t speak.