As most of these animals are herbivorous, their uncontrolled increase would exert extreme pressure on vegetation. This may cause wanton destruction to vegetation that may destabilize the ecosystem. In as much as these arguments appear logical and plausible, they still do not give any moral permissibility of eating meat. Just like any reason in support of unacceptable practice, proponents of eating meat do not give any solid ethical justification why humans should continue killing animals to please their test buds. There is no moral justification whatsoever to rationalize the eating of meat.
Meat is said to contain some very essential nutrients that may not be found in plants and vegetable. This is however no moral justification of killing animals to obtain meat yet there are more reliable sources of proteins and vitamins. It appears that human nature is feeding on animals mainly for gustatory pleasure. As there are vegetables and fruits that can adequately supply human beings with the required food nutrients, there is no justification whatsoever for man to continue killing animals as this inflicts pain to animals (Matheny 510).
Killing animals also deprives them of their right to life. Most animals are slaughtered at relatively lower ages ending their lives prematurely. The only way mankind would justify eating meat could be for survival. However this may not be an appealing justification as there are plenty of substitutes. It is therefore immoral to continue killing animals for purposes of obtaining meat as if there were no other food alternatives. Animals like cats, horses and dogs are highly valued in most western societies as they provide company to man.
It may not be logical to equate these animals to humans but it is fair to believe to believe that they too deserve fair treatment. Pets may not be any different from farm animals that are eventually slaughtered to provide meat. Most experiments with animals like dogs and mice show that these animals are teachable just like man. It is possible that in as much we do not understand so much about what the animals go through. Some pundits have even argued that animals have smaller brains and may not feel as much pain as humans.
This is however immaterial as animals have a comprehensive nervous and sensory system that can feel pain. In fact killing animals should be equated to killing some helpless human person as they have similar perceived rationality. Meat consumption has been justified by the biblical declaration that man should have dominion over animals. It is wrong to believe that having dominion means wanton killing to obtain meat. If this is the bible interpretation of dominion, then all adulterous women would have been stoned to death within city centers as the bible instructs.
It is also possible for some religious leaders to pick on the parts of their religious books that they like and give them interpretations that fit them. It is not possible that the bible instructs mankind to be slaughtering animals. Primitive man may have started feeding on meat early than historians predict. I might be easy to interpret what they thought of the animals they hunted and killed to obtain meat. Of great importance is that they handed and killed animals to obtain meat. It is logical to argue that even at that Precambrian epoch, other individuals may have realized that animals also underwent pain.
With the development and sophistication of mankind, animal domestication began. Humans started appreciating the value of animals. Other animals became of great value to man depending on their utility. Man formed tight bonds with animals like cats, cows and dogs. Those that became too close to man escaped the knife as they were spared. In Europe especially England, the horse was highly regarded and was not slaughtered to provide meat. In India the cow become sacred probably for religious reasons. Early man had a way of respecting animals even if they were being slaughtered.
Acts like Halal and Shechita were practiced to demonstrate dignity. It with this understanding of primitive man who started the practice of eating meat that should guide modernity to understand that eating meat is no longer serving its importance. Early man may have started feeding on meat due to food challenges then as agriculture was not as developed as it is today. Farm animals meant for meat are killed by being stunned with electricity and cutting the blood vessels in the neck region. Muslims and Jews slaughter animals without necessarily stunning them.
Birds and horses can be killed using the bullet. Other methods could be snaring, hunting and trapping common in less developed parts of the world. While stunning, animals are allowed to bleed when still alive which could be purely a marketing strategy. Meat obtained in this manner is much more superior than meat obtained otherwise. Other animals can be killed by the captive bolt which penetrates the skull destroying the brain tissues. Stunning can also be done using electricity by some slaughter men. Large voltage electricity can be passed across the animals brain tissues.
Meat consumers assume that the electricity does not cause any pain in animals prior to death. Most of these slaughter techniques have been shown to instill pain in animals before they die. There is overwhelming evidence that electricity stunning causes pain. Evidence has been drawn from human experience that experience pain when electricity is used to torture them. It has been shown that the large the current the more the pain. It is not very realistic to believe that electric stunning is humane as it has been shown to cause pain in human subjects.
Slaughter men in charge of preparing meat for consumption may not really understand the physiological differences between the sensory motor system and the nervous system. It might also not be possible for animals to demonstrate the emotions and violence associated with pain typical in human beings. The belief that the electric chair employed in slaughtering animals is instantaneous and with no pain is absolutely incorrect. Assembly lines used to slaughter may necessitate scalding in water before stunning. It is therefore possible that animals may burn before becoming unconscious.
Shechita and Halal are perhaps the greatest manifestation of the pain experienced by animals before being put on the plate to supply mankind with proteins. In these procedures, the animal’s neck is exposed before the jugular and carotid vessels being ripped off by a sharp knife. It is believed from some authorities that these are activities are even sanctioned by various holly books and their practice is therefore justified. It may be possible to give all sorts of explanation for practicing these cruel methods of killing animals, what is really had to dispute is the fact that the animals go through immense pain.
Proponents of meat consumption can object to these argument of pain in animals and suggest that there could be more humane ways of slaughtering animals. It might however be possible to come up with any humane way of slaughtering animals as the end point is the premeditated death of animals which might not be a good destiny to the animals. The only realistic remedy is to stop the consumption of meat as it is extremely immoral for humans to subject animals to this kind of pain just because of meat.
It may not be possible to exhaustively premise on why there is to morally justification of eating meat neither may it be possible for this text to conclusively give a scientific account of the negative impact of meat on the human body. What is however very apparent is that meat consumption has caused untold suffering to human kind by causing a myriad of health complications. The risk of heart related complications increase with an increase in meat consumption. Research has shown that meat consumers beyond the age of forty have a tenfold risk of being diagnosed with coronary thrombosis than their strict vegetarian counterparts.
Heart attack is a direct function of high blood pressure and clogged arteries. Consumption of meat over a long period of time in one’s lifetime causes the buildup of cholesterol in blood vessels. The buildup of cholesterol eventually clogs blood vessels reducing the volumes of blood that can be pumped through the vessels. Cholesterol can be found in beef most meat varieties eaten by human beings. Meat consumption is thus unethical as it subjects human nature to diseases which could have been avoided if humans decided to stop consuming meat.
What makes the practice even more irrational is that there is overwhelming scientific evidence that meat consumption reduces human longevity. Counter arguments against this premise that even strict vegetarians who consume high levels of unsaturated fats from foods like French fries also stand a risk of suffering from heart related problems. In as much as the argument can stand, it does not however justify why meat consumption should continue being practiced despite all the evidence pointing towards its dangers. Brain functioning seems to be affected by affected because of protracted meat consumption.
Omega-6 is a protein commonly associated with red meat. It has been shown to have a negative impact on brain cells effectively impairing cognitive functioning. It has been suggested that just like cholesterol affects blood flow in the body, its accumulation in the brains may lead to impaired brain functions. The brain may not receive adequate blood supplies. Blood supllies the brain with oxygen and the nutrients required for proper brain functions. Anything that affects blood supply in the brains affects its functioning eventually affecting the way humans’ reason.
Gracing land occupies about third of the world’s arable land. Feed crops cover almost a similar land mass meaning that land devoted to meat production occupy reasonable land areas that would have been directly engaged in other activities like crop production, forestry and even human settlement. Animal energy conversion ratios are extremely inefficient. It is irresponsible for humans to depend on animals to be their sources of food. High amounts of feeds are needed to maintain animals for them to produce meat for man.
The vegetation being feed on by the animals would rather be left to be converted to fossil fuel which have high energy conversion efficiencies that animals. Jatropha grown for fuel production gives higher energy conversion rates than grass to feed on beef animals (Boadi, et al. , 320). The inefficient land use is happening against a backdrop of diminishing food production rates in globally (Weber, and Matthews, 3508). Developing parts of the world are experiencing incidences of hunger as the land asses cannot support adequate food production to meet the bourgeoning population.
The immoral part of this is that developed countries have spared vast tracts of land for ranching and growing feeds. It is possible that if these tracts of land were being used for food production, there is a likely hood that global food problems can be addressed sufficiently. Advances in biotechnology were thought to be great means of tackling food shortages. They have however not been embraced in the developing countries that desperately require them or they might be too expensive to be adopted by the countries that require improvement in food production.
It is not farfetched to predict that meat eating is one of the causes of food shortages in the world today as too much land that would have been used for producing cereals is being used to produce animal feeds. Ranching requires huge land areas. It is not surprising to see forests being cleared with the intention of setting up ranches. Ranching induced deforestation is causing the disappearance of some plant species. Anything touching forests directly affects the environment. Global warming is a direct result accumulation of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. Forests are one of the mitigating remedies to global warming.
They act as carbon dioxide sinks that maintain their concentrations to a minimum. Meat consumption has a direct impact on the environment as it leads to deforestation that leads to global warming. It is not possible to justify therefore that there is any moral rationale of eating meat when all indications show that meat has all the destructive tendencies. An analysis on animal farming shows that animals emit green house gases in the environment. Though animals may be kept for other products like hides and eggs, most animals are kept to ultimately provide meat after being slaughtered.
Anthropogenic emissions like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and methane are associated with animals. These gases impact negatively on the environment as they cause global warming. Sheep have been shown be the highest emitters of these gases. Meat consumption means that animals have to be raised. Over gracing has been reported in many parts of the world where animal rearing is extensive. Overgrazing causes all sorts of environmental degradation like soil erosion that have devastating impacts on human survival. Farming procedures devoted
to food production will put in all systems meant to reduce soil erosion as opposed to activities like ranching and pastoralism geared towards meat production. Supporters of meat consumption however argue that most rangelands and pastoral lands are not suitable for crop farming. It si not however convincing to argue like this as most of this areas can be reclaimed for reasonable crop farming. It also does not make much sense to expose a piece of land to destructive farming practices irrespective of its suitability to crop farming.
Eutrophication, water turbidity and increased water temperatures is a common environmental impact of animal rearing. Animal excrete finds its way in water bodies either intentionally or without human intent. Increased amounts of phosphates and nitrates have been shown because animal excreta in water bodies. Increased phosphates and nitrates promote certain species of bacteria to proliferate in the water bodies causing a decrease in the oxygen concentrations. Massive fish deaths have been reported because of reduced oxygen levels that occur as a result of eutrophication (Hecht 45).
Proliferation of plant life in water bodies may also disrupt ordinary water activities like fishing and water transport. The water hyacinth that inhabits water bodies with high levels of nitrogen and phosphates is usually a menace to fishing and other water related activities like sports. The Mississippi river has suffered this brand due to pork effluent. The negative impacts of meat consumptions far much outstrip its purported benefits. It is unimaginable to come up with any moral justification to why meat consumption should be permitted. Works Cited