As a meat eater, I do love a good steak, but I am also aware of the environmental impact that eating beef has on the environment. One kg of beef produces 27 kg of CO2 while the same amount of chicken produces 6.9 kg and rice produces 2.7 kg. I am also aware of the other impacts such as methane emissions—a much more potent greenhouse gas—and the tremendous waste that the meat industry produces. As a result, I try to limit the amount of certain meat that I eat, but I do not think it is necessarily easy to convince everybody to go completely vegan or vegetarian. Nor do I believe it is necessary to go to that extreme as it would be better for everybody to compromise and choose to limit our carbon footprint. I agree with some points but have different opinions on others: here are two of my thoughts.
Firstly, I am a bit confused about the analogy between cannibalism and the consumption of meat. I think that for the majority of other animals out there, they would agree that eating their own kind is morally taboo too. It is strange that the author uses the phrase “the role of the principle or norm of autonomy in naturalizing the killing of animals for food consumptions” when carnivores and omnivores exist in nature. I think that argument is a bit inadequate and stretching it a bit too much, but I certainly agree that we must revise the way we mechanized the slaughter of animals. Industrial meat production has removed us from reality and perhaps objectify the sacrifices of the animals. We waste a substantial amount of food and overconsume leading to environmental and health issues. However, our consumption of processed food high in excess carbs and fats is more to blame for our obesity crisis than meat has.
Lastly, I strongly agree that we need to rethink our diet and consume everything in moderation. It is probably very difficult for everybody to eat the “utopian diet” because not everybody has consistent access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Not to mention that finding alternative protein sources would be difficult for those without much disposable income. I think that the true solution for everyone will come in the form of lab-grown meat which has proven to be very likely viable. Even when it is commercially available, the technology may still too costly to justify for everyone. I think that saying that “actively desiring the taste, smell, visual presentation and texture of meat” and “mistaking that appearance of choice is autonomy” is as judgmental as judging a balanced vegan diet as unhealthy. Any drastic change will not happen, but we can encourage others to mind their environmental impact as we all share this same planet. Maybe instead of eating meat, maybe eat more chicken (I am not sponsored by Chick Fil A) or some other meat with less CO2 output. It’s easier to change in small steps, not huge leaps.