Saturday, February 23, 2008

Evil enough to eat a kitten?

While browsing forums on the internet I came across a topic: Who is evil enough to eat a kitten?. It was on a comic book forum that often incorporates other forms of media. The expected response is something akin to the clown from IT (Stephen King book), Venom (Spiderman villain), Lex Luthor (Superman antagonist), etc.

The answer I thought of though was most people. You do not have to be a villain or evil to eat kittens. In real life, a lot of people eat cats. The Koreans, starving people in Cuba, etc., eat cats. Cat meat can even be purchased at stores in some countries.

Are the people eating cats evil? That would depend on how evil is being defined, on the circumstances, and on the culture. Lets start with circumstance. Very few people would condemn starving people for eating cats/kittens. It is perfectly understandable for people who have nothing else to eat, to eat a cat so that they can survive. If you were starving and had access to nothing besides kittens to eat it would be understandable to eat them. It would not by most peoples definition make you evil.

What about those people who eat kittens/cats and aren't starving, they're evil aren't they? Possibly but probably not. Unless your a vegetarian you can't really condemn people for eating cats or any animal (could but it'd make you a hypocrite). Sure you can justify why it is alright for you to eat chicken, pig, cow, etc., and call them evil for eating kittens. You shouldn't though. Sure cats are kept as pets where as most of the time the other animals aren't (though I had a pet chicken when I was small). For that reason alone people will condemn those who eat them.

A lot of the reasons you find it wrong to eat kittens, besides them being pets, is cultural. What is acceptable to eat varies greatly by country/culture. The USA find it alright to eat chicken, cow, and pig; but find it abhorrent to eat horse (which a lot of the world doesn't), whale and dolphin (which some countries like Japan find acceptable to eat). Those same animals which the USA finds acceptable to eat are not acceptable to eat in some other countries/ cultures. For instance, the eating of pigs is forbidden by the Jewish, the eating of cows is forbidden by the Hindu and in countries with a large percent of the population with people practicing those religions have it illegal to do so.

Could still argue that the eating of kittens is evil because they are young not fully grown. It is no more evil than people eating chicken most of which are killed at 16 weeks old or Veal which is tortured baby cow.

In conclusion and the entire point of the above rant. The eating of kittens is not really any more evil than the eating of other animals. While a person can rationalize why it is alright to eat one particular animal and not alright (evil) to eat another; what it comes down to, in my opinion, is that it is either evil to eat any animal or it's alright to eat any animal. Things like humane treatment of animals (though the more humane the better), intelligence of the animals (though less intelligence would be preferable), and whether the animal is a pet or not are ultimately rationalizations. Though considering the culture and society I was brought up in I would not eat kittens/dogs and since I have both dogs and a cat it would bother me to see someone eating kittens/dogs.

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