Monday, March 29, 2010

Are non-vegetarians evil?

Had an interesting debate few days ago while tearing a chicken patty to shreds with my evil pointy teeth. A staunch vegetarian stared at me for a few minutes, a look of disgusted horror on his face, and asked me if I knew how chickens were ill-treated before being killed - their feet being burned off because of being confined among their own guano, etc. I told him that's why I didn't eat the feet, and he got up and left the table... but it got me thinking. 

Consider the chicken. It's the most populous bird on planet Earth. It has no talons, can't fly, is fat, slow, stupid. It doesn't breed fast, and isn't particularly poisonous or even particularly bad-tasting. By all logic, if left to itself, it would have gone the way of the dodo. Yet, among birds, it's a spectacular success - because it linked it's evolutionary success with humans. 
As a species, did it make the right decision - guaranteeing it's success as a whole, while sacrificing the lives of the individuals? For as long as humans eat chicken, and are sitting on top of the food chain, chickens will not be extinct. Nor will any other domesticated animal. Nor will the scavengers, the vermin. In fact, they will evolve along multiple lines, filling several ecological niches created by Man. 

So the question is - by guaranteeing it's success, by ensuring it's immortality as long as the (non-vegetarian) human race exists - are us meat-eaters evil? 


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