First, I am aware that primacy of the conscience DOES NOT mean that one can divert from Catholic teaching whenever one sees fit. I read a few articles regarding conscience primacy a couple days ago and it merely confirmed what I already knew about it. Catholics should ultimately follow their honest conscience before church teaching. If your conscience tells you a certain behavior is intrinsically wrong, you must follow your conscience, even if you’re incorrect with regards to what it is telling you. However, this usually if not always applies to situations where behaving in a way your conscience tells you you should often comes in conflict with church teaching.
That said, this is my question.
So, as far as I’m concerned, the Catholic church does not forbid eating meat (except on certain occasions) like other Christian faiths (such as Seventh-Day Adventism) or other religions althogether (such as Jainism). That said, a Catholic may eat animals if it isn’t Friday or Lent. However, if a Catholic eventually comes to the conclusion, for example, that animals can feel both emotional and physical pain and therefore humans shouldn’t eat them, does that mean that the Catholic necessarily must follow his or her conscience and become an ethical vegetarian, even if the church isn’t opposed to meat-eating?
Of course, this could apply to virtually any other non-Christian social issue; I just feel as if ethical vegetarianism is the best example.