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Should we eat meat? The arguments for vegetarianism include cruelty, health matters and taste. But there are almost as many good arguments against it for the same type of reasons.

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Introduction

Why should we not eat meat. The moral argument of animal rights has been discussed for decades. There are many types of cruelty to animals, including vivisection and animal testing, eating meat, hunting and farming. Campaigners risk their lives to protect animals, but some people are totally opposed to the idea of rights for them. Although more than 25% of the British population does not think eating meat is safe or healthy, only 4.5% actually avoid it. The arguments for vegetarianism include cruelty, health matters and taste. But there are almost as many good arguments against it for the same type of reasons. What is vegetarianism? The dictionary definition is someone who does not eat meat. However, millions of people would claim that they are vegetarians or "veggies" but still eat poultry, seafood and use animal based or tested products. Tere are a handful (4%) of vegetarians that do abide by all the "rules". These are generally called vegans, and do not use any animals related products. This includes leather, milk and obviously meat. Avoiding meat is a lot harder than one may think. Many types of pasta, for instance, contain egg, which is from a chicken. All dairy produce derives from animal milk; meaning they cannot, or will not, eat yoghurt, cheese or butter. But doesn't this just inconvenience themselves as well as others? Apparently not. "Most people become vegetarian because they believe it is wrong to slaughter animals." - The Vegetarian Society. This is a true point, most people believe it is not at all acceptable to kill an animal for food. But they believe it is right to slaughter an animal to find a cure for disease, or to kill an animal for its skin. ...read more.

Middle

There were over 40% more quotes urging me to stop eating meat though. One particular point against vegetarianism that was put over was: "I am at a loss to see how vegetarians would maintain their food supplies without the millions of tons of shit produced by the overwintering of beasts." - Alan Owen. Mr Owen is a part time farmer, so he knows what he is talking about. It is a good point, that if we do stop breeding so many animals for meat, there will not be so much manure to nurture the crops which the vegetarians would eat. So, by not breeding the animals, we are stunting the growth of millions of plants which vegetarians would in turn want to eat. But what does a vegetarian have to offer to contradict this? "We can keep the animals, but just not breed them for food." But then, surely, wouldn't the world be over populated with animals? Britain itself is very crowded, it would make it ten times worse to keep every animal we bred. We would have to find somewhere to put them all. "But you find somewhere to put all the people," says the vegetarian. We don't though, not all of them. If she were to go homeless now, I suggest, wouldn't she prefer to have a house built for her by the council instead of having to live on the streets because there were animals on all the land they could possibly build on? The vegetarian goes quiet. I have found that this point wins the argument for this particular part of the discussion. Another argument is that it takes half as much land to grow crops for vegetarians than it does to keep animals. ...read more.

Conclusion

Apparently the taste on its own is disgusting, but there are numerous books and websites of recipes for tofu. It can be fried, stewed, marinated, anything the consumer wants. When I asked for an opinion from a strict vegetarian on what tofu looked like, it was compared to, "A soggy sponge." Would you like to eat something that looked like a soggy sponge for your dinner? This description says it all. I have taken the liberty of including a picture of some tofu (pictures are surprisingly hard to come by) and a picture of a sponge to illustrate my point: From all these points and views, reasons and arguments put together, I have concluded that there are so many arguments for and against vegetarianism that most people find it easy to choose a side. Most people choose to be for it, but still eat meat. Personally, I like eating meat and am not considering stopping for the sake of the Teletubbies, hysterical animal rights activists and cute little furry creatures with "hearts and feelings." I find the fact that vegetarians lecture people about eating meat when most of them have been cruel in another way to someone or something else dull and rambling. Humans have been eating meat for thousands of years - why stop now? It would only break traditions. I know we don't need to eat meat anymore because of all the alternatives, but then again we don't need to buy designer clothes when car boot sales sell old ones. But we do. Why don't we eat cats or dogs? It would be an interesting concept. As for changes my opinions as a result of this project, it has only made my feelings stronger towards meat eating. Whilst petting my cat I am now going to eat a steak. ...read more.

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