Can it be Ethical to Eat Animals?

  • Can it be ethical to eat animals?
  • I think we would need to compare it to the ethical consequences of eating a plant-based diet.
  • A case can be made that more animals are actually killed in clearing land for agriculture than are eaten by people who include animals in their diets. See article
  • I completely agree with people who refuse to eat meat from animals confined to factory farms. The animals on those farms are confined to tiny spaces, often never see sunshine, and are treated with thoughtlessness and cruelty. 
  • A more ethical approach, to my mind, is to buy meat only from small family arms where the animals are treated with loving care, living idyllic lives, with access to fresh air and exercise, and living much longer and better lives on the farm than they would in the wild where they would be constantly threatened by predators, until the very end of their lives.
  • Re: ruminants and climate change, what’s often overlooked is that industrial agriculture is a major driver of climate problems. And there are solutions which don’t require cutting back on meat consumption. See article.
  • One other consideration for me is that to get the same nutrition we get from eating a steak, we’d have to eat several times the calories in plant-based foods. This would also increase our carbohydrates, which have been shown to be pro-aging, not anti-aging.
  • If people want to eat vegan diets, I wish them well. I was vegan for almost three years myself, and I understand the reasons people might be drawn to that choice. 
  • My own experience with veganism was a downhill slide.  It started out well, probably because I was getting some autophagy because of the relative lack of protein.
  • After that, my health started sliding off a cliff. Three years of eating a vegan diet left me sick and fat and mentally foggy, with mood and memory problems. Adding meat, eggs, fish and dairy back into my diet helped me recover my health.
  • Animal foods can be pro-aging too because of the amino acid methionine, which accelerates aging. I take collagen peptides along with meals that have animal protein because the glycine it prevents the methionine in animal proteins from doing harm.