Ethics professor Jeff McMahan writes:
“Our own form of predation is of course more refined than those of other meat-eaters, who must capture their prey and tear it apart as it struggles to escape. We instead employ professionals to breed our prey in captivity and prepare their bodies for us behind a veil of propriety [...] The reality behind the veil is, however, far worse than that in the natural world. Our factory farms, which supply most of the meat and eggs consumed in developed societies, inflict a lifetime of misery and torment on our prey, in contrast to the relatively brief agonies endured by the victims of predators in the wild. From the moral perspective, there is nothing that can plausibly be said in defense of this practice.”
The thrust of the article is ostensibly about another topic – the controlled extinction of predatory animals – but the real issue discussed in the article (through the subtext) is that if we don’t curb our environmentally destructive taste for animal products, we’re effectively extinguishing animal species, including our own. If humans are going to wipe out entire species, we ought to at least give it a little thought.