Mike Clawson here again:
Hemant just posted about a column in the Dallas Morning News that advocated the ethical treatment of animals raised for harvest. I’m all for that. However a few of you suggested that it didn’t go far enough in advocating full vegetarianism. This raises a question for me that I’ve wanted to ask for a long time now: leaving off health reasons and environmental sustainability reasons (both of which I think are very good reasons), why would an atheist be a vegetarian? That is, is there any reason for an atheist to ethically object to the idea of killing animals for food.
What I mean is isn’t animals (like human beings) eating other animals simply part of the natural process? Isn’t that how nature functions? Why would it be unethical for us to fulfill our role as omnivores? What is the rationale for concluding that this is morally wrong?
I mean, I understand the Jewish and Christian arguments for vegetarianism based on the Bible, but obviously those wouldn’t be relevant to atheists, so I’m just curious what your reasons are. For those of you here who are atheists and consider it ethically wrong to kill animals for food, why? I’m not saying you’re right or wrong either way. I honestly just want to know.