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Monday, March 26, 2012

The Ethicist's Challenge: Explain to Us Why We Should Eat Meat

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 9:12 AM

click to enlarge Tell us how this man is engaged in an ethical pursuit. - PICSFIVE / SHUTTERSTOCK
​This weekend, Ariel Kaminer, author of the New York Times magazine's "Ethicist" column, announced one of the most interesting essay contests SFoodie has seen. "In recent years, vegetarians -- and to an even greater degree vegans, their hard-core inner circle -- have dominated the discussion about the ethics of eating," she writes. Few omnivores, however, "have tried to answer the fundamental ethical issue: Whether it is right to eat animals in the first place, at least when human survival is not at stake."

So the Times has invited meat eaters to answer that very question, in 600 words or less, by April 8. You have two weeks to write about the ethics of eating meat, and you're not allowed to answer "because it tastes good." 

Not only that, your answer will be judged by two authors of book-length manifestos about animal rights (Peter Singer) and vegetarianism (Jonathan Safran Foer), but you'll have the omnivorous Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman backing your case -- if you make a strong one. 

SFoodie has been mulling over how we'd write this one since the contest was announced. We're looking forward to reading the winners of the contest.

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Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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Jonathan Kauffman

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