Have you ever heard the argument "Animals eat animals" as justification for your own meat consumption? Maybe you even used it once yourself. Either way, there's nothing wrong with it. But it's important to look at whether it's really a logical argument or a quickly said excuse.
In this article, I would therefore like to question whether we can really justify eating meat by the fact that there are animals that eat other animals. Let's go!
Why "animals eat other animals" is not a logical argument
It is true that some animals eat other animals - for example, the lion that hunts and eats the antelope. But it does so only because it and its family could not survive otherwise. We humans, on the other hand, no longer have to eat animals to survive. That may have been the case in the Stone Age. But nowadays, we can eat a purely plant-based diet without having to fear negative health consequences.₁ Unlike the lion, we are also not predators. We do not have sharp claws or large fangs.
On the contrary, our teeth are very good for crushing and chewing - not for mangling. Our meter-long intestines are also ideal for digesting plants. Meat, on the other hand, has been proven to be a cause of colon cancer and constipation. Unlike the lion, we also do not have strong hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which makes meat easier to digest. One of the reasons that our body often reacts with food poisoning when we have consumed undercooked meat.
But just suppose we were made to eat meat: then why do we get our meat from a plastic box in the supermarket? And why do we get uncomfortable when we see someone else slaughtering an animal in the Factory farming mistreated or killed just so we can eat it? We don't feel hunger when we see these pictures - we feel with the animals.
Tip: If you could use some more motivation to eat a plant-based diet, be sure to check out these Documentaries about factory farming an. They have also had a significant influence on my personal decisions.
Just because some animals eat their fellow species doesn't mean we have to too
We don't have to eat animal body parts, our moral values are against it and our physique is not even made for it. So just because there are some animals that eat other animals doesn't justify our meat consumption. By the way, about 90 percent of all mammals eat only plants₂ - so we can do the same 😉 .
In any case, it is amusing that some people, in order to strengthen the argument "animals eat animals", insist that we are actually animals too. But then we often hear from the same people "we are more intelligent than animals" as a reason for continuing to eat meat. These arguments then simply no longer fit together.
Do you have questions or your own experience with this argument against veganism? Then just write me a comment.
PS.: Do you already know my post about the Reasons for veganism? Be sure to look inside to know the essential motives for the vegan diet.
₁ University of Oxford: Plant-based foods are good for both health and the environment (as of Oct. 29, 2020), available at https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2019-10-29-plant-based-foods-are-good-both-health-and-environment. [15.07.2020].
₂ L. Neumaier: Diets, available at http://www.heimtierwissen.de/Seiten/Ernaehrung/Ernaehrungsweisen.html. [15.07.2020].