Why I’m a Vegetarian
It’s not complicated. There’s just two steps. First, take this quote from Jeremy Bentham (although I’m not a utilitarian I agree with this):
Other animals, which, on account of their interests having been neglected by the insensibility of the ancient jurists, stand degraded into the class of things. … The day has been, I grieve it to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the [human] species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated … upon the same footing as … animals are still. The day may come, when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may come one day to be recognized, that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum, are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps, the faculty for discourse? … The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? (emphasis mine)
Second, watch this:
Or the documentary Earthlings:
This doesn’t mean that I think animals should have a right to life. While I might argue for a chimpanzee’s right to life, I certainly wouldn’t argue for a chicken’s right to life. However, I would defend a chicken’s right not to be tortured. If I could be assured than a chicken was raised in a truly free-range environment and died painlessly, then I might not feel bad eating it.
However, for most animals we eat: factory farming=torture. Eating factory raised meat is tantamout to supporting animal cruelty.