For several years now, there has been different views on vegetarianism and whether animal liberationists are able to inspire society to transition to vegetarians. In the detailed reading, “Animal Liberations,” Peter Singer explains why we as humans have a moral duty that requires us to transform into vegetarians. Singer’s argument states that we have moral obligations to other humans because we have the capacity for pain and pleasure; since animals have the same capacity then we have a moral obligation to these animals. This is an argument that I do not agree with, considering the amount of change the whole world will have to go through if everyone became vegetarians is not something I can go for.
I understand that vegetarianism is not a bad thing, but when you think about the whole world becoming vegetarians you really start to ask questions. Like Peter said, we as humans have moral obligations and I think the most important is to feed yourself and your family. Humans are always on the run driving home after a busy day working, picking up their children from school, coming back from an expensive trip. People do not have the time to stop and search for vegetarian restaurants. It is much more convenient to drive by your neighborhood and pick something up. Nowadays, there are at least four food sources in most city road intersections and most of them are non-vegetarian. My objection is that, if we were going to become vegetarians, would we be late to everything? Would everyone be trying to get food from the really small vegetarian restaurants? How long would the wait be to even get seated at a table? Considering that there are not many vegetarian restaurants I would say at least thirty minutes to an hour. That is beyond unacceptable when there is not enough time or patience for this situation.
Now I can see Peter listening to this objection and saying, “What I would do to fix this issue is I would contract people to get rid of all the non-vegetarian restaurants. We would construct new all-vegetarian restaurants on the same grounds and make it easier for people to get the food they need, that is, vegetarian food. We would also make sure that we build drive-thru’s for people on the run, and we would only ask the people for their patience while all of this gets constructed.”
If I had the chance to comment on that reply I would tell him about all the jobs that would be lost around the globe. If Singer is going to remove all the non-vegetarian restaurants what about all the people working for these restaurants? The servers, cookers, bussers, managers, hosts, what will happen to them? Go on unemployment? I myself am a waitress at a local seafood restaurant, I think about this idea and I oppose it. I’m a student, the job I obtain is convenient for me because of the flexible hours, I will not let anyone destroy the restaurant business we have now. Many other people besides me would lose money. The economy will suffer from this drastically, and nonetheless people will get angry.
Singer would say to me, “Priscilla, we will build new restaurants. There will be new jobs for you and other people. You would just need to be patient and apply somewhere else in the meantime. Many great things would come from this, patience and time is all we need.”
My reply to him would be, “I am a student. I do not have the time or patience for you to terminate my job and wait two to five years for a new restaurant. I understand that there are other jobs available but when you start targeting one specific business, every worker in that business will try to find other locations to work at and with the obvious high demand, not many jobs will be available for everyone. I can assure you that people will be left out without jobs until your new vegetarian restaurants are up and running and it might be too late for them. Now, if you take that risk, you are basically letting your own people be left out on the streets and that is not a moral thing to execute.”
In conclusion, I think that if animal liberationists went at this issue in another direction, a lot of animals’ lives could be saved. The liberationists could potentially propose new laws that could in fact be greater than having the whole world become vegetarians. With study and research, it is possible to come up with something efficient for all. I have to say that the vegetarian idea is not a strong idea for everyone. Especially those whose lives revolve around the food that has been known since the start of mankind. It would be very difficult to change that considering that we have grown up with this meat-eating reality. Transitioning to something different, would definitely be an inconvenience.
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