Isn't eating meat a part of our cultural heritage?

Yes it is. To take the United States as an example, eating turkey is a traditional part of celebrating Thanksgiving, and many American cultural heroes were hunters. Other cultures have similar examples.

However, not everything in our cultural heritage is something to be proud of. To take the United States as an example once again, George Washington and many of the founding fathers owned slaves. The slave trade, the slaughter of the Native Americans, and the internment camps for Japanese Americans during WWII, and the McCarthyism during the Cold War are all parts of the American cultural heritage and legacy.

In my opinion, one of the strengths of American culture is that we readily admit to mistakes which were made in the past. In our schools, we teach the darkest episodes of our history to our children, without any defensiveness or hesitation. This stands in sharp contrast to many other cultures around the world.

When future generations look back at our time period, the fact that we once ate meat will simply be one of the many aspects of our cultural heritage which we are not proud of. And in particular, the way in which the United States currently raises animals for food will not just be viewed as one of the darkest chapters of American history, but it will be viewed as one of the darkest chapters in world history.


Follow up questions:

Doesn't the Bible say that humans have dominion over the animals?

How are animals currently raised for food?

Why is eating meat wrong?


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