Monday, December 11, 2017
Is it just to kill animals for meat? (a short Socratic Dialogue)
I am most fortunate to be continuing to examine life. Here is a partial transcript of a recent dialogue in which we examined our treatment of animals. To my shame, this is something I never analyzed back in Athens.
SOCRATES: Would a just person cause unnecessary pain?
MARY: No, of course not.
SOCRATES: As you are wise and knowledgeable, can you please tell me, is it true that people can live long healthy lives without eating meat?
MARY: Yes, this is true.
SOCRATES: Must it not follow that eating meat is unnecessary in terms of helping people live long and healthy lives?
MARY: Yes, that follows, Socrates.
SOCRATES: Can we therefore agree that if eating meat is unnecessary in terms of helping people live long and healthy lives, then killing animals for meat is unnecessary.
MARY: That is a reasonable conclusion.
SOCRATES: Now tell me, is it not true that killing animals causes them pain?
MARY: It seems to be true.
SOCRATES: Then it must follow that killing animals causes them unnecessary pain.
SOCRATES: But we have agreed that a just person does not cause unnecessary pain, so it must follow that killing animals for meat is unjust.