Lehrer’s statement is a good example of a strange decision-making process which lets moral arguments against eating meat get trumped by taste buds. After calling the moral position ‘compelling’, he choses to shrug it off.
I’ve seen this attitude expressed at various dinner tables for almost 14 years. In 1994 I bit the bullet – so to speak – and decided meat’s flavour does not justify killing animals. Now, campfire marshmallows (curse you, gelatin) and my mother’s baked Latvian pirogi are the only things I miss.
Why is this resolve uncommon? All of the reflective dinner-table conversations with meat eaters usually boil down to “I just don’t want to do anything about it.” No justification is made, no reasons given. It is a frustrating reminder that the human species does not govern itself through rational decisions.
For two conversations that don’t involve a fork, knife and spoon, but might tell you how to use them, here are a couple of interviews with Peter Singer. The first is an exchange between Peter Singer and Stephen Colbert; what follows is a more serious three-part interview with the BBC’s William Crawley: part one, part two, part three.