But Animals Eat Meat...

Wild animals eat other animals all the time. Raccoons, for example, eat frogs. (This is true. I've seen it.) And because this sort of behavior occurs everyday in nature, some people argue that eating meat must therefore be natural. And these people have a point. The human jaw does, after all, include both canines and incisors, and like a lot of carnivores, many of us are hairy. Still, just because we look like monkeys doesn't mean we have to act like them too.

In truth, animals make very poor role models. I once saw a photo of a dog nursing an abandoned tiger cub, but outside of zoos this behavior is rare. Usually animals prefer fighting, stealing, biting, and raping, and if they could swear I suspect they'd enjoy that too. And while these behaviors may come naturally in the wild, few people would use them as justification for human conduct. Thus a horse may consider our city streets public latrines, but civilized people do not. Why then do we consider animals as proper role models for diet?

If anything makes us "human," it's our ability to control what comes naturally. In the name of civility, we've already stopped fighting, stealing, biting, and raping. And really, this was a fantastic idea. Whoever thought of it deserves an award. And though we've come far, I suspect that some of our more unpleasant (though natural) urges and appetites remain. In the name of civility, we've already stopped acting like wild animals. For the sake of our health, environment, and conscience, perhaps we should stop eating like them too.