Even meat eaters have morals

Allison Rafert, Opinion Editor

Morally, I’ve always considered it wrong to eat animals. But, when dinner comes along, I’m a hypocrite, and I let my morals slide.
Even so, the killing of any animal can rarely be justified, especially on the basis of human superiority. Merely because humans are more intelligent than other species does not give them the right to kill and eat these species. And even though animals eat other animals, humans are intelligent enough to understand the immoral nature of killing something. In fact, this intelligence should be used as a reason for humans to hold themselves to a higher standard and to act with the compassion that less intelligent species cannot demonstrate.
Additionally, just because humans have evolved to be at the top of the food chain, and meat has traditionally been a staple of the human diet, doesn’t mean that eating meat is ethical. Just as our courts continually overturn previous verdicts, it is entirely possible for our perception of the civility of meat consumption to change as well. Our knowledge and understanding of the world is expanding each day, and it is ignorant to claim that as new information is gained, our habits should not evolve beyond what was formally deemed acceptable.
Contrary to what many believe, meat is not an essential part of a person’s diet—but the surplus of proteins and nutrients it provides is. However, many people can thrive on a meatless diet by eating other foods that do contain these necessities, like dairy products, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Furthermore, people who eliminate meat from their diet have a lower risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Although, a vegetarian or vegan diet is certainly not a practical or healthy choice for everyone. And with myself not being vegetarian or vegan, it is unreasonable for me to ask that everyone makes this lifestyle change.
But, it is still possible to eat meat and not be a cold-hearted person. Simply because a person eats meat does not mean he cannot acknowledge the inhumanity of the practice—in fact, it is the least he can do. All meat eaters are capable of feeling sympathy for the animals they eat. It is also important support animal rights by buying cruelty-free products.
And who knows? Maybe someday my morals will overpower my appetite, and I will clear my guilty conscious once and for all.