Meat Is[n't] Murder

I recently had someone use that tired old refrain on me: "Meat is murder".

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

The most relevant definitions from


[mur-der] noun
1. Law. the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law.
verb, used with object
5. to kill or slaughter inhumanly or barbarously.


[in-hyoo-meyn] adjective
1.not humane; lacking humanity, kindness, compassion, etc.


[hyoo-meyn] adjective
1.characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, especially for the suffering or distressed
2.acting in a manner that causes the least harm to people or animals


[bahr-ber-uh s] adjective
1.uncivilized; wild; savage; crude.
2.savagely cruel or harsh:

Ok. we have our definitions, let's start looking at this.
The only definition of murder that seems to be close to approximating this usage seems to be definition (5). "To kill or slaughter inhumanly or barbarously."
"Inhumane" means "not humane; lacking humanity, kindness, compassion, etc." The raising of animals for meat cannot be terribly inhumane, or lacking in kindness or compassion, as it is a well know fact by farmers that stressed animals produce inferior product. 1 So, it is in a farmer's best interest to keep his animals well fed, healthy, calm, and happy right up and through the slaughterhouse. This include the slaughter. If the slaughter is anything but quick and painless, the animal will produce adrenaline which will taint the meat.
Butchers and farmers are anything but "uncivilized; wild; savage; crude." And inhumane? not a chance.
The farmers are some of the most humane people. You will not find a more tender man crying because he had to watch as a calf died because of complications during birth. You will not find a more compassionate and sympathetic man who either nurses a sick animal back to health; or puts it out of its misery if it can't be saved, saving it many hours of pain and suffering.
Farmers get into farming because they love animals.
Yes there are those farmers who lose sight of the reasons they got into farming; and focus more on the bottom line than the health and well being of their animals; but most of them are in it because they love caring for animals.

You want to know what is inhumane? This latest craze with Antibiotic free meat.2 Because of it, farmers are now having to sit back and watch their animals needlessly suffer through infections that could be cured in a week with a simple antibiotic regimine, simply because consumers have a weird fetish with avoiding things they can't pronounce.

Animals have been eating other animals for nutrition from time immemorial. You don't see anyone complaining about the lion eating an antelope; or the wolf enjoying an unwary rabbit; or the owl happily feasting on a mouse. Simple anatomy shows that their mouths have features that make it obvious that their primary source of nutrition is meat. Likewise the human mouth has features that allow it to efficiently consume nutrition from any source available. Assuming the livestock is raised in a manner that grants it a happy life, up through its slaughter; I see absolutely no reason why I cannot enjoy a nice steak, or crisp bacon.

Eating meat is not murder in any sense of the word; it is a natural part of the circle of life. As the only known sapient lifeform on the planet it seems natural that we would have figured out a way to industrialize the production of meat. We've done it to everything else.

I do not mind people who decide for themselves that meat or other animal products have no place in their diet. In fact I am usually curious about the reasoning behind the decision. They are varied and often interesting; not to mention a conversation starter. However, I do not tolerate militant veganism. The arrogance is flooring!