Ask the average consumer how much meat, dairy, and eggs they eat, and most will say “not very much.”
Per capita consumption of animals is higher than at any point in history in the United States, and yet most everyone says they don’t eat a lot of meat, dairy, and eggs.
Ten billion animals are killed annually for human consumption. So, someone is eating all of those animals.
When it comes to eating animals, most people experience a bit of cognitive dissonance as we struggle to reconcile our compassion for animals with our habitual taste for their meat, milk, and eggs.
Change is difficult and most people avoid it, and so rather than change our behavior, we instead change our perception of our behavior and of the animals we eat.
We characterize our consumption of animal products as minimal; we declare that the animal products we do buy are “humane,” free-range,” and “sustainable” (thus exonerating us from causing any harm); and we couch our consumption in romantic terms — justifying it not merely on the grounds that it benefits us; but also on the rather spurious grounds that it benefits the animals we breed, use, and kill. Some common examples include:
Nature is cruel. A knife to the throat or a bullet in the head is merciful compared to how animals die in the wild…