But Since you insist, I will make a positive claim: why eating meat is not murder.
First, murder is defined as the unlawful killing of humans, which excludes other animals right from the beginning. That may look like a semantic jab, but notice that not all killing of people is considered murder - there are circumstances where killing is either justified or indifferent, or considered morally right. Abortion, self-defense, war, law-enforcement, death penalty, euthanasia - whatever your personal opinion of them, it demonstrates that killing is not necessarily and categorically wrong. I have yet to find an argument that shows otherwise, not even by religious dogma since even there it is repeatedly ignored and overruled. As killing does not appear to be categorically wrong, we need to ask what makes it wrong when it is wrong?
As far as I can tell, people are almost unique in the fact that we think about death, we fear death and have concepts of what happens after death; meanwhile most animals avoid death as they avoid pain, as an instinct rather than by contemplation on what it means to die. Animals don't seem to have ambitions or goals in life either: no culture, no society, no tradition to uphold. While people may strive to ends beyond themselves, a chicken will eat food and lay eggs year after year until it stops being a chicken, and for all anyone knows it doesn't even think about how many eggs it has laid, or whether its chicks grew up and laid more eggs, or whether the coop needs a repaint and where all the grain comes from. It just eats and shits until it eventually gets ill and drops dead out of old age - or by the butcher's block.
Comment too long. Click here
to view the full text.