You love meat and you do not flinch when your vegetarian friend refers to it as “bits of dead animal”. Something visceral stirs in you when you look at a blood soaked cut of meat, something dark is spoken to by the redness of it.
You have to eat, and even vegetarians must kill to live, not only plants but those creatures that would interfere with the production of their food, insects, small mammals and so on – and more broadly, biodiversity and ecology itself is inevitably disrupted. The genocide of species done to serve the hunger of man.
You wonder why you deserve to live and the things on your plate deserve to die. There are many ways to approach the fact that death is necessary for life and that in every meal you make an active choice to shape the universe to serve your life at the expense of the lives of others. Some will look upon it proudly, proclaim themselves “top of the food chain” and justify the state of affairs by might alone. Oddly some of these same people find a similar logic expressed within or toward the human species abhorrent.
Others recoil from it, try and minimise their impact. But such a course is to no avail. Even were it possible to reduce the impact to an infinitesimal quantity, the philosophical qualitative problem remains.
Your preference is a measure of gratitude, and awe. You are a fragile living being, each day it is not your right to survive. Your daily bread is neither earned nor deserved, every living thing wishes to survive and struggles with utmost labour to that end. You must face the dead with the respect that they deserve, their sacrifice, though generally unwilling, must be given its due lest the universe itself be affronted by your sense of entitlement.
You struggle against death, for that is your lot among the living, but you have no rights in the face of death – and even you, lording it over the ham on your dinner plate, can become food.
Thank your food for it’s sacrifice, and thank the carrion for leaving off it’s feast for another day.