Should We Eat Animals?

In recent years it has become harder for me to accept the idea of eating animals. I’m still a meat eater. Almost everyone is. It’s normal for us to eat animals. It’s part of how humans survived for thousands of years. And animals eat other animals. It’s the way of this world. But I wonder if we’re supposed to transcend that way? Are animals really here for us to eat? Or are we acting in an unenlightened way?

We’ve mostly transcended the barbaric way we used to treat other human beings. Cannibalism is mostly gone. Killing baby girls, merely because they’re girls, is mostly gone. Tribal warfare is mostly gone. Violent crime has greatly decreased. Human rights have gone from something that didn’t even exist, to one of the most important issues of our time. Even animal rights is something very important to us now, despite the fact that most of us are carnivores.

At what point in our future will we consider eating animals equivalent to murder? Should we? Or are they our food? They’re not our food when we form bonds with them (dogs, cats, horses,etc.). And most of us take no pleasure in harming animals. After all, they feel pain. They suffer. And they want to survive, like us.

We’ve evolved into beings that contemplate ourselves and the meaning of life itself. As far as we know, no other animal has that same level of consciousness (though some seem to be more conscious than others). What about baby humans? Babies don’t seem to be fully conscious in their infancy. Baby’s are very animal-like, but we don’t treat them like animals.

Evolution is most likely true. I no longer believe that God planted a man here five-thousand years ago. It seems true that we evolved out of a process that was set into motion billions of years ago. Will other species eventually evolve to our level of consciousness? Are we the first of many? Should we learn not to eat them? Is that part of our “awakening”, to realize that animals kill each other because they aren’t yet capable of knowing any better, but we are?