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Can you be an animal lover and eat meat??

Echolight

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This question has been plaguing my mind for weeks. You know I love animals (especially cats <3) I care about my cats and other animals, and I want to help with saving wildlife one day, such as donating to funds. Yet I do eat meat. Can I actually consider myself an animal lover if I do? I’ve been hesitant to say I’m an animal lover ever since that question entered my mind. What do you think? Can you be an animal lover and eat meat? I really don’t know what to think...
 

the8thark

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Australia
Yes.

Animals eat other animals in the wild all the time. It's actually natural and helps with animal population control.
The best thing you can do is save up and try to buy meat that is responsibly farmed so it has a good cage free life. Also responsibly slaughtered, ie with stunguns and the like. The humane way.

So best to do your research and buy your meat from sources you know actually care for their animals.

Note well - some religions actually practice a form of animal slaughter that is not humane and very cruel. That's why I refuse to eat anything associated with those religions.
 
I've had similar thoughts when I was younger. I've decided that, yes, you can still consume meat and love animals. It's not hypocritical to do so.

Avoiding consuming meat doesn't prevent the meat from being sold, so it's a really difficult thing to dwell on for the animals raised for that purpose. Similarly, if you keep a pet that requires meat in its diet, there's another dilemma there. I find snakes to be very cute, but I don't think I could ever keep one because I love rodents and the idea of feeding them to a snake that I would also love very much would be very sad to me. But me not getting a snake is not preventing the mice designated as feeder mice from being fed to other people's pets. I've had similar thoughts when I kept a turtle over a summer, and had to feed him fish. I've had similar thoughts more recently when considering the possibility of getting a pet praying mantis.

I think it's important to be aware of the roles these animals play that feed others, including ourselves. It's saddening, but still necessary on some level. We as humans are designed to consume meat as part of our diets. In the other direction though, I'm a plant lover and eat plants. Certain vegetables require killing the plant to harvest too, and I think about that a lot too.
 

Morbid Minish

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I believe you can be. I've also struggled with the idea myself so you're not alone.

I've actually tried to cut back on eating as much meat because of it. Which works well with there being quite a bit of vegetarian options available. I still eat normal burgers, but when I go to Burger King I've switched to the Impossible Whopper because it doesn't taste much different and makes me feel a little better about my choice. I also will get frozen vegetarian chicken nuggets/patties over the real stuff because I actually think it tastes better than frozen chicken.

I think making little decisions like that (as long as you still enjoy what you're eating) can help alleviate at least a little of the guilt associated with eating meat.
 
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Dio

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Hmm you can say you love some animals or love the look of animals but in general if you support the mainstream meat and dairy industry then that isn't an expression of love for animals.

If everyone stopped eating meat today they'd just slaughter all the animals anyway and they would die for nothing but cutting back on meat consumption and moving to supporting free range humane farms is a step in the right direction and then the old cruel ways of farming could be phased out as demand drops.

When cloned meat becomes available I will probably switch over to it as no animals will need to be killed to produce it.
 

TheLinkToThePresent

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of course you can love animals, and still eat meat. i have two kittens that i live to death, and i love meat. ( sometimes i give my kittens a bit of meat)
 

Dizzi

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Uhhh yea Ech like i love Theo but i love meat and it wouldn't actually help the world cuz of like what would happen to the cows..nowt...
 

Dio

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Uhhh yea Ech like i love Theo but i love meat and it wouldn't actually help the world cuz of like what would happen to the cows..nowt...
Well as meat consumption decreased the amount of cows farmed would decrease and therefore the amount of cows suffering and in pain in the world at any given time would also decrease, so saying it wouldn't help the world is not correct unless cows aren't part of the world.
 

Azure Sage

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Well as meat consumption decreased the amount of cows farmed would decrease and therefore the amount of cows suffering and in pain in the world at any given time would also decrease, so saying it wouldn't help the world is not correct unless cows aren't part of the world.
Farm animals are not in pain and suffering by default. I won’t deny there are farms that mistreat their animals out there, but the solution is to fix the farm system, not remove it altogether. Humans are omnivores and there is no getting around the different diets we all need. Eating animals doesn’t mean they have to die painfully or live poor lives.
 

Dio

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Farm animals are not in pain and suffering by default. I won’t deny there are farms that mistreat their animals out there, but the solution is to fix the farm system, not remove it altogether. Humans are omnivores and there is no getting around the different diets we all need. Eating animals doesn’t mean they have to die painfully or live poor lives.
The majority of farm animals suffer because the majority of farm animals in the west are produced in factory farms. But as I said in my first post supporting the free range farms and cutting down meat consumption from factory farms will reduce the animal suffering in the world.

This will mean a reduced meat consumption generally though as there is simply not enough space to produce the current output of meat through free range methods, trying to do so would mean much more mass deforestation.
 

Mudora

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I came here straight from the "How Do You Like Your Meat Cooked?" thread. :sweat:

But in all seriousness, yes, I truly believe you can consider yourself an animal lover while still consuming meat and do so without being labelled as hypocritical. Just as other animals on this planet hunt as part of nature's course, we too need to consume specific nutrients in the correct proportions to maintain our health, and meat and other animal-based products happen to be excellent sources.

I come from a family-based ranch and have experience in Canada's beef cattle industry. Production of any livestock operation in Canada must adhere to that species' Canadian Code of Practice, which is an extensive document created with input from producers, vets, welfare and academic representatives, processors and transporters, government workers, etc. It outlines the care and handling of animals (i.e. proper procedure techniques, environmental conditions, nutrient requirements, etc.) and was developed to ensure welfare remains a priority. I can't speak to other countries and their legislation, but from my own experiences, animal health and well-being remains to be of great importance to producers. Of course there have been cases of extreme negligence involving animals (as there are cases of misconduct in every industry), but please don't think that is the rule rather than the exception to it.

I know that sending animals to slaughter is part of the job I do, but when I am able to look down on my plate and honestly say that everything on it was produced by the land my family works, I feel a sense of gratitude for what those lives provided. I can eat it knowing that those animals were cared for to the best of our ability, and that their gift is respected and will not be wasted.

I just wanted to end by saying that I think these types of internal reflections are great things to ask ourselves. I have always believed that questioning why we do the things we do allows us to open an honest conversation and grow as people. :^^:
 

Rubik

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I think eating meat while supporting stricter regulations to ensure quality of life for farm animals isn't hypocritical for an animal lover.
 

Killjoy

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I think is comes down to a couple of things. Religious beliefs and whether or not the animal in question is endangered. Like, one has to ask themselves when going to the store: "Is this product something that is frowned upon in my religion?" and when hunting, "Is the animal I'm thinking about hunting on the endangered list?" If not I think it's safe to say it's absolutely fine to eat meat.

Edit: To give moreinfo, I also think you can even love animals none the less regardless.
 

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