Recently, I heard the term speciesism used for the first time. For those who aren’t familiar, speciesism is mostly used by animal rights advocates, who argue that speciesism is a prejudice similar to racism or sexism, in that the treatment of individuals is predicated on group membership and morally irrelevant physical differences. The argument is that species membership has no moral significance (Ryder Speciesism).
As an athlete who eats a lot of meat, I struggle to reconcile my lifestyle with the ethics of treating animals poorly. On one hand, I’m confident that my nutritional protocol helps me feel and perform better, but on the other, I’m not sure I should end other beings’ existence for my supposed betterment. I’m mindful of the animals I consume: I buy organically raised and humanely treated bison, cow, elk, lamb and chickens from farmers I know and trust; I use virtually every part of the animal including organs, tail and bones; and I treat every meal as though its sacred, taking the time to sit without distraction and appreciate each bite. However, I’m cognizant of the counter argument that a slave owner treating slaves with respect does not neglect the fact that said slave owner enslaves people. I might eat happy animals, but I’m still responsible for their death. . .