Warning: Meat lovers who choose not to give up meat should just stop reading now.
Simply put, the meat paradox describes the psychological conflict between people’s dietary preference for meat and their moral response to animal suffering.
Don’t tell me you have never heard of factory farms before.
These are the places where animals don’t live like animals, but machines, whose sole purpose is to provide food for mankind.
No, a factory farm looks nothing like this. It looks more like this:
These mother pigs have no space to walk or even turn. The bloodstains on the floor were from these pigs biting at the metal bars. I think they are simply going crazy.
These pigs are impregnated, then their piglets are taken away from them shortly after they are born. The cycle is then repeated until they can no longer give birth, where their life will end.
Their piglets do not have a much better fate.
Their tails are cut off so that they cannot bite at each other’s tails in the enclosure they are kept in (they do that because they are going crazy). Here’s a pig staring at his own cut off tail, wondering what he did to deserve this.
So the majority of the meat we eat come from sources like these.
So as most of us would disapprove of such practices, but still want to eat meat, cognitive dissonance sets in. To retain our meat eating habits, we tend to avoid thinking about and talking about this factory farm topic. Alternatively, we try to justify why it is ok to eat meat.
When we buy meats, we see them in neatly packaged and clean wrapped in plastic, again distancing the consumer from the horrors of the factory farm. We also use terms such as pork instead of baby pig, or beef instead of calf to distance ourselves. You wouldn’t say “I’m eating the tenderloin of a calf”.
So all this distancing works. And most of us still eat meat.
For me, I’m not pushing any particular agenda, but I struggle writing this post. It is kind of a dissonance itself when I post something but don’t actively practice it.
In this case, I still love eating my meats, and in due time, I will probably ignore the fact that factory farms still exist and just carry on my merry way.
Or you could pay 20 times more for organic meat, which I did before, but probably won’t do again.
So over to you. Are you going to stop eating meats?