Speaking as a vegetarian, I’ve found myself in the exact position you described (the “should I eat it?” conundrum regarding the piece of pork) on many occasions, and my answer always depended on the context. More specifically, it depended on whether or not anyone else was going to take the pork and eat it. Simply put, if no one else is going to eat it (maybe they’re full, or they just don’t like pork?), I probably will. I don’t like the idea of wasting food. If it’s cooked, and if no one else wants it, I’d rather eat it than see it end up in the trash. But if someone else will take it, then I’ll simply pass it off to them.

The ethical aspects of vegetarianism are a little tricky, AFAIC, mostly because it’s not simply a debate between two clearly defined positions (eating-meat-is-okay versus eating-meat-is-not-okay). Personally, I’m convinced that factory farming methods are absolutely unethical, but I’m not entirely convinced that eating meat is unethical in and of itself. I know this is a grim example, but if I was out hiking and broke my leg, and a bear came along and ate me, I’d be very unhappy lol. But would it technically be *unethical* for the bear to eat me? I mean, it would royally suck to be eaten by any animal (especially ants since it would take so long for them to eat you— and yes I think about weird stuff like that lol), but I don’t think I could blame the bear for simply acting on its nature. That’s why I characterize my brand of vegetarianism as an ethical *preference* as opposed to an ethical *imperative* when people ask me about it. Between the well-documented animal abuse on factory farms and the environmental implications of the rising consumption of meat, I personally believe that not eating meat is ethically preferable to eating meat. But I’m not yet on board with the idea that eating meat is ethically indefensible.

Anyways, that’s just my two cents. Great post as always, Gail! Thanks for sharing it! :)

Outer space enthusiast. Japanese history junkie. I write about politics, culture, and mental illness. Disagreement is a precursor to progress.

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