I have recently been reading about anthrozoology in Hal Herzog’s book, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat, as the subject of the human-animal relationship has always been one that I felt carried a lot of meaning.
I have never been a vegetarian, although at times I have considered the prospect and I have in fact cut beef from my diet completely for the last 15 years (although more about the health and ecological issues than any moral standing on my part).
As a conscientious animal person, who feels the animals I live with are my family and that I would defend them the way a mother would defend her children, it actually does not fill me with horror that some cultures eat dog, guinea pig, or in fact that we eat meat as a species. It is not because I haven’t thought about the moral standing and rights of animals, but I also completely believe in my right to eat those animals if I decide to (sorry all you piggies you are too tasty for me to give up).
My feelings are these. All animals have the right to eat what is biologically appropriate for them, my dogs are on a raw food diet that includes all sorts of meat because they are carnivores and I would not feel it was morally right for me to try to make them into vegetarians because of my ego or guilt. All animals have the right to eat and be eaten, as is natural.
What is NOT ok and what I find morally repugnant is when animals are mistreated in the process of becoming our dinner. I enjoy Temple Grandin’s view on the right of animals to live without fear, for me this holds true for our pets, our dinners, and ourselves. I will continue to eat meat, but I will always support the war against animal cruelty in all forms…(and only eat the free range piggies) this may not make sense to some with the moral standing that humans should act better than animals. I never have felt humans to be better than animals, we are animals and act like animals right along with them! This makes me feel more connected to the world and all the animals in it!