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Vegetarianism Philosophy Essay

986 words - 4 pages

Vegetarianism is a custom practiced in six out of the seven continents and has become more popular over the years. Vegetarianism can be defined as the exclusion of animal products such as meat and fish from one’s diet. Dairy products and eggs are often times excluded as well. Although there are many reasons one may decide to become a Vegetarian or follow such a code of ethics, the most common include: moral, religious or health reasons.
Morally, one may feel obligated to exercise Vegetarianism due to the inhumane treatment of animals throughout the farming process. The issue is that roughly ten billion animals are raised for United States food consumption alone. Animals such as cows, fish, chickens, pigs, and turkeys are subjected to entrapment and confinement, less than sanitary living conditions and mutilation for the purposes of efficiency. Cows and pigs, from birth, are placed in narrow stalls where there is no room to turn around or even lay down. These animals’ daily lives consist eating and overeating until it is time to be slaughtered. Thousands and thousands of egg-laying hens are packed in cages, chicken crates, and coops. These animals are so densely packed that it is hard to distinguish between those that are living and dead. This often times leads to the spread of diseases among these animals and is one of the more prominent factors that contribute to unsanitary living conditions. The discomfort experienced by these animals leads to them being mutilated. The chickens that try to peck have their beaks cut; the chickens that try to fly have their wings clipped; the livestock that lose mobility, as a result of limb atrophy due to the stationary lifestyle experienced in stall confinement, are beaten. Animal mutilation, in most extreme cases, often leads to death. These farming practices are inhumane. The most common arguments in support for this treatment are stated as simply as an animal life in no way measures to the value of a human. However, it is not an argument of which life holds more value. The argument is that it is immoral to subdue animals to inhumane conditions for the purposes of efficiency and human food consumption.
For some, the choice of Vegetarianism is decided based on religious beliefs or practices. Vegetarianism is compatible with the major world religions—the Eastern Religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism) and the Abrahamic Religions (Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and Bahá'í Faith). Among these, it is most commonly practiced by those of the Buddhist, Christian and Islamic faith. Vegetarianism within the Buddhist culture is taught along with the “Four Noble Truths,” which focus on the acts of suffering. Since the Buddhist faith accepts the idea of karma, it is believed that in order to maintain a life of peace and happiness and remain free of suffering, one must refrain from the harming, injuring or killing of any living being. As part of the Christian faith, animal cruelty is forbidden. The teachings of...

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