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Since Other Animals Are Predators, Why Shouldn’t We Eat Animals?

Written by Zoe Weil | Published on September 19, 2012 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2012/09/19/since-other-animals-are-predators-why-shouldnt-we-eat-animals/
Image courtesy Zoe Weil.

For my blog post today, I’m sharing a recent essay I wrote for Care2.com, an online community for people passionate about creating a better world. Here’s an excerpt from “Since Other Animals Are Predators, Why Shouldn’t We Eat Animals?”

“… basing our behaviors on those of other animals is a slippery slope, and can be dangerous, silly, and potentially just self-serving. If I am right that the green frog in this photo is eating another green frog, does that mean we should be cannibals? My dog Elsie loves to eat poop. Should I therefore eat poop? Elephant seals have harems and control their multitude of much smaller female mates aggressively, seemingly raping them repeatedly, and attacking other elephant seals who try to mate with any of their females. Does this mean that men ought to have harems, rape women, and attack other men who threaten their dominion?

Humans have the capacity to make decisions based on our ethics, not simply our desires, and throughout human history, we have codified our morality. Every religion and every society, theistic or not, has its list of ethical principles designed to help us humans avoid succumbing to brutality, cruelty, jealousy, greed and hatred, and live harmoniously with compassion, love and kindness.

So to me, the fact that falcons prey on rodents, that some frogs eat other frogs, that cats are carnivores, and that most fishes eat other fishes does not mean that I should cause harm and death to other animals by eating them if I don’t have to. Unlike falcons, frogs, cats, and fishes, I can choose.”

Read the complete essay.

~ Zoe

Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of Most Good, Least Harm, Above All, Be Kind, and The Power and Promise of Humane Education
My TEDxConejo talk: “Solutionaries”
My TEDxDirigo talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach

Get tickets now for the October 13 NYC debut of my 1-woman show — My Ongoing Problems with Kindness: Confessions of MOGO Girl at United Solo, the world’s largest solo theatre festival.

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