If I think animals are equal to humans should I be a vegan?

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I promise. I am not JUST stirring (although my girls say I’m the biggest stirrer). I am genuinely curious about ways of thinking and different points of view. I’m one person with a set of values, life experiences, culture, religion etc and am trying to expand my horizons. Also it is clear I am not a scientist (I haven’t done any study of science for over 10 years) so I have no scientific authority. Just trying to use my human ability to reason.

In no way am I trying to sway anyone or insult anyone. But if you’re open like me, either you will be opened to a new point of view, which may or may not change your opinion. Or you will be fortified in your opinion.

From my last post it’s clear that I think that humans are superior to animals. Or to be more precise, animals are not equal or superior to humans. So if we were to adopt that mindset, then as a vegan friend said to me, do unto an equal as you would have done unto you.


In contemplating this, I thought of an extreme – cannibalism. If a human thought cannibalism is immoral and that an animal is equal to a human then it follows that they think eating an animal is also wrong. So morally, they should be a vegan. Or vegetarian at least.


(Pescetarians and anything in between, I don’t really know the reasons why people adopt that lifestyle. Because that isn’t treating animals within their own kind. Why is a fish less than a cow And if we were to follow this logic. Why is a plant less than an animal? Where is the line drawn? Because there is an abundance of fish? If there was an abundance of cows is it moral to eat beef then? If bananas were “endangered” would it be immoral to eat a banana?)


One of my girls is a near vegan and her passion is the environment and fair treatment of animals. This argument alone is a good reason to be vegan. Another vegan friend informed me that cows are forced to have sex (edit: or are artificially inseminated) so they can produce milk, because a cow that doesn’t have calves or isn’t pregnant (or something a long that lines, similar to a human I guess) cannot produce milk. Is this immoral? Is sex to an animal the same as sex to a human? Besides reproduction and animal instinct, is there a higher purpose like intimacy, unity etc like sex for a human? Are animals capable to choose? No, I don’t want to have sex right now, I’m tired. Hey bull, I don’t wana have sex right now, I just had a calf and i’m not ready to go through that again. Bull, I don’t want to have sex with you because I don’t feel an emotional connection with you. Bull I do want to have sex with you because I think it will mean we’re bound.


Especially with the rampant rape culture? (is that the right word. Or is problem a better word) there is a massive emphasis that sex is consent between two adults. Which is true right. Because rape is when there is no consent, or taking advantage of someone that cannot freely give consent, like a child. Do animals have to give consent? If they don’t consent, is it rape? How about when a zoo gets a male and a female animal of an endangered species and tries to get them to mate to preserve this animal. Is this also immoral? Why or why not? Is the means justified by the ends? Or is the end justified by the means? If the two animals don’t want to mate is that also rape? This is another post.


But back to mistreatment of animals. Caged chickens. Sedated tigers. Performing monkeys. This alone is a sign of poor human custodianship. This alone makes sense to me to live a vegan lifestyle. But if you’re also concerned about animals, you should also be concerned by plants (and the whole environment). But is a plant as important as a human? This is what baffles me sometimes. While protecting a plant or an animal, sometimes humans endanger another human to do so. If you are willing to do something to a human you should be also willing to do it to an animal. Except bestiality and things right. But you know what I mean. if animals are equal to humans, and if you are willing to shoot at humans to preserve a wildlife sanctuary, you should also be willing to shoot animals in a human sanctuary. Similarly, if you are willing to eat an animal you should be willing to eat a human. Or vice versa.
On a slight tangent. Because i think there is an order of beings, i think there is an order of importance of causes. If there was a massive natural disaster and at the same time a rainforest was destroyed, destroying the plants, animals and human homes. I think that the welfare of humans > welfare of animals > welfare of plants. If you were to say but if the plants aren’t taken care of then the humand don’t have food. The end goal is still the humans, right? Thoughts?


Ps. Based on my post yesterday, a human is human if it has a body and a rational soul. An animal is an animal if a body and a sensitive soul are one. If the rational soul is separated from the body or the sensitive soul is separated from the body, does that essentially mean that it is no longer a human or an animal? Then is it ok to eat them? If it is a natural death, then i would be inclined to say yes. It is the circle of life that things will die. As a good custodian, you use what you have well. If you were given a task by your boss to spend $100 for a work lunch, then you can argue that the best use is if you go to a reasonably nice restaurant, use the $100 (if you go more, why did you need to, if you go less, is it cheating you or your client? This is just a hypothetical btw this is not the essence I want to discuss)  you can order from the set menu and spend $100. But if you chose a lunch deal or sweet talked the maitre’d or waitress to give you a good deal and you get $100 value for $90 isn’t this the best use.


In this way, if an animal naturally dies, as a good custodian what is the best use?


Also in terms of Catholic teaching, the Church does not forbid cannibalism. The Church teaches that donating organs is also ok. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says (ps won’t be looking at living donations. Although that’s also really interesting)


“2296 Organ transplants are in conformity with the moral law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks to the donor are proportionate to the good sought for the recipient. Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as a expression of generous solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or his proxy has not given explicit consent. Moreover, it is not morally admissible to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons.”


Anyway I don’t really have a resolution. But in conclusion, if you believe something, why do you believe it. And if you believe it, act according to your beliefs. You’re free not to act that way, too. But then what does that mean?


Written by Candice

June 2, 2016 at 11:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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