In an attempt to defend eating animals, people often argue, “I didn’t climb to the top of the food chain to eat lettuce.”
Actually you didn’t climb any food chain. Since we were born, your local grocery store most likely provided food for you that was bred in captivity. You didn’t invent tools and scavenge the remains from animals killed by lions with Homo Erectus two million years ago or make bows and arrows with Native Americans in the New World. Eating animals never required you demonstrate ingenuity, mental acuity, or strength–only a fork, knife, and a stove because unlike carnivorous animals, your teeth and digestive system aren’t designed to chew and eat raw animal flesh.
If you’re alone in the Amazon in Brazil, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Adirondack Mountains in the United States, or the Sahara Desert in Africa, which wild animal can you kill with your bare hands to demonstrate your superiority? The gorilla, shark, bear, or tiger? None of the above. Regardless, even your ability to kill with a weapon–necessary because you are neither stronger nor more adept than these animals–doesn’t give you the right to kill them, especially when you don’t need to in order to survive. To believe otherwise, you would have to subscribe to the belief that if you can kill someone, the killing is justified.
The idea that humans belong atop the “food chain” is a long promoted fallacy used to justify the senseless and cruel exploiting, abusing, confining, killing, and eating of animals. Your power is derived from Smith & Wesson, not intellectual or physical superiority. There was never any “climbing” involved–only a few inventions long before your time such as the arrow, gun, trap, cage, and machine.
My food choices extend well beyond vegetables and tofu and include countless options including delicious recipes with beans, nuts, fruits, and other foods that don’t require me to claim supremacy over defenseless co-inhabitants of our shared earth. Here are some photos of plant-based foods I eat. You may also consider plant-based meats if your palate craves them. There are many new and delicious brands on the market.
The food I eat now tastes much better and healthier than the food I ate when I consumed the remains of animals. I hope you’ll consider trying some recipes or at least reducing your negative impact on your health, the environment, and animals. Here are some more suggestions to help you begin. Thank you for keeping an open mind.