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How we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used.” - Wendell Berry
… and yet he had rated it as a gain in coming to America, that here you could get tea, and coffee, and meat every day. But the only true America is that country where you are at liberty to pursue such a mode of life as may enable you to do without these, and where the state does not endeavor to compel you to sustain the slavery and war and other superfluous expenses which directly or indirectly result from the use of such things." -From “Walden" by Thoreau
An animal-friendly diet is a diet that only includes animal products from animals that have been treated well.
Motivation for adopting a animal-friendly diet
“The sociologist Max Weber emphasized the basic fact that people are not satisfied to just engage in behavior but also need to believe that what they do is good or right. Thus some people, both meat-eaters and vegetarian alike, will respond with defensiveness, intolerance, or hostility towards the other, interpreting the other's behavior as calling their own behavior into question. Vegetarians often associate their calls for giving ethical consideration to animals with other movements that have attempted to expand the range of beings given this consideration such as the anti-slavery movement, the women's liberation movement, opposition to racism, child labour, colonialism, and others. All of these activities have at some point been defended on the basis that the suffering incurred is legitimate, natural, necessary, or just” -(Ethics of Eating Meat).
At the heart of many people’s choice to be a vegetarian are ethical reasons and concerns. These reasons and concerns can vary greatly. At one end of the spectrum are people who feel that no animal should ever be exploited for human consumption regardless of the negative environmental or health impacts. These reasons stem from ethics that consider all animals to be sentient creatures, which require careful moral consideration. At the other end of the spectrum are people who feel that the consumption of animal protein is not right for them, but can be legitimized in a few particular circumstances, such as when the animal was humanely raised and slaughtered, or out of dire necessity.
For many people, a big ethical concern about eating meat stems from how the animal was raised. Many vegetarians in particular cannot legitimize the mass production of meat under factory farm conditions, in which the animal’s welfare and their humane treatment is often sacrificed for increased production and efficiency. Expose news stories and organizations like PETA often document gross mistreatment of animals during and before slaughter. Reports and videos show warehouses of animals cramped into cages, unable to stand and perform any natural moment or behavior. Often, these animals are not allowed outside and are subject to routine procedures that mainstream society, whether vegetarian or not, would consider unsettling. For example, in some chicken factories, the chickens are de-beaked because they are packed in so tightly to their cages that they become bored and peck violently at each other, thus damaging themselves. The same thing can occur in pig factories. Here, pig tails are cut off without anesthetic to prevent the pigs from chewing each others tails off (The Issues, 2008).
Some critics of animal-friendly diets state that eating meat is natural human behavior which is also seen throughout the animal kingdom. However, supporters of animal-friendly diets point out that many natural behaviors seen in the animal kingdom are not acceptable in our society, such as rape, murder, and incest. They also point out that animal behavior should not be the basis for one’s morals and ethics. In addition, while humans may be biologically able to process meat, in today’s world with so many negatives associated with eating meat, along with the multiple benefits of not eating meat, and the fact that it is unnecessary for survival, there is little reason to eat meat. This is especially so when it inflicts such pain and suffering on sentient beings.