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Next century outrage: Eating meat

‘What commonplace attitudes or practices today would be considered outrageous in 100 years?’

You wouldn’t strangle my cat and eat her. You wouldn’t cut your dog’s throat, hang him upside down to bleed to death, and then eat him. Nor would you eat an alien visitor to Earth, no matter how substandard his powers of cognitive reasoning appeared in comparison to your own.

I doubt, then, that meat-eating will remain as commonplace in a hundred years’ time. Neither health nor happiness require it.

Only a concentrated act of cognitive dissonance permits human beings to look away from the industrialised creation of sentient creatures for food, or to pretend some fictitious inter-species distance between a cow, a cat and a dog. How else to explain the fetishisation of “artisanal” meat? The conscience of the hedonist is bought off by letting the pig live in a field pre-slaughter. Free-range pigs aren’t tortured before death, the fate of their factory-farmed cousins. But they are still slaughtered.

“But I like the taste of flesh.” Perhaps you do. But – now that God is dead, the soul a mere metaphor, and the theological basis for man’s “mastery over the beasts” gone – the breeding and slaughter of mammals for food requires a better justification than gluttony. But there is none.