The Ethics of Eating "Happy Meat"

I suspect most Catholics on here consume meat, though if they were sufficiently reflective, they would stop consuming factory-farmed meat given the terrible suffering inflicted upon sensitive, sentient creatures. However, even if Catholics were sufficiently informed of the facts, they would probably see no moral problem with eating “happy meat” - an animal who was alleged to have been well-treated from birth until slaughter. But this position is ethically problematic, or so I argue here: animalblawg.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/whats-wrong-with-happy-meat/

This is an issue about which Catholicism has yielded the wrong answer, even though the answer - to sufficiently reflective persons - is so obvious. Hence I can’t take Catholicism seriously. It would be like taking seriously a religion which tolerated and encouraged human slavery. Anyway, I welcome your thoughts.

I agree many of the animals we harvest for food live in horrid conditions. But without the meat given from them many humans would die. We are carnivores by nature. Human life is infinitely more important than animal life. I’m not saying that justifies torturing animals but the animals that are in slaughterhouses and live in cages their whole lives aren’t tortured our human sense in that they are not living and dying as they are for the enjoyment of their handlers. They live the lives they do and are slaughtered as quickly as they are because of business and efficiency. Quantity over quality. Money drives all business in the world. There is nothing wrong with advocating for the better treatment of animals but it will never happen. You think the owner of a slaughterhouse whose livelihood depends on the amounts of animals he/she processes will spend a good chunk of their income on building spacious areas for each animal and giving them proper care and food and medical attention? Good luck winning that one my friend. I’m not unsympathetic. I’m simply being practical. We need meat to survive. The more people there are in the world, the more meat we need.

For some reason you seem to be implying that causing animal suffering is immoral, however you have not given any reason to believe that that is the case.

BTW, I’m a vegetarian.

Under divine inspiration, Moses gave dietary laws that included a humane method of slaughter that would result in “happy meat” and also forbade such things as force feeding animals–so hands off that goose liver. God invented humane husbandry and slaughter and barbecue. Praise God.

I can’t seem to find it now, but the Pope has spoken out about his disagreement with animal cruelty. I read somewhere that I think he said that cruelty is not good and should be avoided if possible. Though at the end of the day we are superior to animals and can use them for food if necessary… I repeat “NECESSARY”… as I think some meat eaters go overboard and turn gluttonous as I know meat can be addictive. I am personally a vegan at this point in time :slight_smile:

You do understand that sentient means “self aware” As far as I am aware the only sentient creature/ animal on this planet is man.

Oh look, not this guy and his “convert all Catholics into vegans” again…

Look, please do not even try to equate animal husbandry with slavery!
I’ve learned that veganism is a luxury since we can’t digest grass in of itself but grass seeds (such as rice) at best. If one wants to eat the vegan diet, fine by me. But please, do not even try to go around shoving it down people’s throats ad infinitum.

^This, is the reason why I do eat meat.

I prefer eating tasty meat, the rarer the better. I don’t judge all these Vegans, but I will not give those that want to judge me the time of day.

The operative phrase is that he gave this to Moses, not us. Christians do not need to live as Israelites.

Why should one think otherwise?

Why are you vegetarian?

But this is false: meat is not necessary (or even preferable) for human survival.veganhealth.org/

I’m happy to correct your mistaken view on self-awareness: news.discovery.com/animals/animals-consciousness-mammals-birds-octopus-120824.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1

Animals are our slaves. Why is that not an inaccurate description?

The idea that veganism is a luxury is a myth: vegankit.com/

I’m only pointing out the morally abominable practice - not sure why you see that as “shoving” veganism down people’s throats.

Shifting the burden of proof. You have to prove it’s immoral if you’re going to claim that.

I grew up one, so meat is generally repulsive to me.

I’m curious to know why posters on here think the argument sketched in my post is flawed: animalblawg.wordpress.com/201…th-happy-meat/

I don’t see why I would have the burden of proof - unless there’s compelling reason to think otherwise, we are surely entitled to think that imposing unnecessary suffering on sensitive creatures is wrong. Do you disagree with the principle of unnecessary suffering?

You have the burden of proof because you made a claim.

I don’t even know what the principle of unnecessary suffering is.

Some claims have the presumption of truth, such that if one disputes them, the burden is on the opponent.

I already explained it, but here it is again: it is immoral to impose unnecessary suffering on sensitive creatures.

If you make a claim, you must prove it. Trying to shift the burden of proof is an argumentum ad ignorantiam.

Good. Now prove it.

If I claim that I exist, do I have the burden of proof, or am I entitled to assume I exist unless there’s compelling reason to think otherwise? Also, there’s no point in proving a claim that you already agree with. Do you **disagree **with the principle of unnecessary suffering?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.