Originally Posted by rightkindofme
Actually she just said she was very opposed to strictly keeping kosher. So that means that her treating vegetarianism the same way *is* giving it tons of respect. Just not in the way you want her to.
Actually, that's not very respectful at all, assuming that ethical and metaphysical beliefs are somehow not as important as other beliefs, unless, presumably, they are her own!
|The same scenario with the Thanksgiving turkey? I'd think, "Wow, what a UAV. Who invited that jerk to dinner?" and then I'd eat my turkey.
If that means that I don't respect the beliefs of people who consider animal murder to be the moral equivalent of human murder, OK.
Well, at least you know you don't respect them.
I know a NUMBER of vegetarians--and incidentally, in my teens, I was among them--who believed all sentient beings to be morally equivalent to humans.
Simply put, "Do not kill" applies to animals as well as people, for them.
And having considered it very deeply with several ethicists as well as laypeople, I can say it is not as simple as it sounds to explain just why it is you think people are so darn special that they're the only ones you can't eat!
|I think comparing ethical vegetarianism to religious dietary restrictions is a bit off base. Making an ethical choice to not eat animals really should be compared to other ethical choices we might make for our children.... I suppose if I really felt that eating animals was on par with eating people or murder in general I might feel different. Of course if I honestly felt it was the moral equivalent of murdering people, than I don't think I would be able to maintain my relationships with non-vegetarians because I know I couldn't be friends with actual murderers.
See, I think vegetarianism is for many a very serious ethical choice and not comparable to ethical choices that require a communal effort to be effective (for example, boycotting sweatshop goods). Because there is an easy way not to kill a chicken: just don't eat a chicken. Now with how food is all mixed together, it's a bit harder, but ultimately, gram for gram, if you don't eat meat you will save animal lives.
Consider the missionary among cannibals (I know there are very, very few truly cannibalistic cultures and that many of those have stopped... bear with me). He can sit among the cannibals and befriend some of them, knowing them to be murderers and cannibals, and eat the other food, but refuse to partake of human flesh (communion notwithstanding
sorry even if you take that literally... that's actually eating God-man... whatever). And just calmly explain, "I'm sorry. I believe human life is sacred and that a person should never take another person's life. I believe this because blah blah blah. Please understand I have the deepest respect for you and your family, but we disagree on this."
I've seen it done. Not about cannibalism, but about other things.
I am ALL FOR compromise with in-laws and heaven knows we've done it, but I really don't like the suggestion that vegetarianism, which has a long, honorable tradition among ethical codes and world religions, is somehow "just" a "lifestyle" "choice". I believe it is a lived virtue that is inseparable from the ethical code from which it springs.
Perhaps reading Albert Schweitzer would be interesting... he was an ethical, religious vegetarian. I mean, beyond, of course, Buddhist vegetarianism or Hindu vegetarianism, which in my opinion should be strongly respected.