Community Philosphy Blog and Library

Novella Carpenter’s “Why I Eat Meat” Essay For The Ethicist

You’ve probably heard about the avalanche of submissions that the New York Times received for its essay contest, which presented the query: “Tell us why it’s ethical to eat meat.” A provocative question, certainly. And the finalists all had written thoughtfully of their perspective on the matter of meat.

Novella Carpenter, the Farm City author and beloved blogger who raises livestock on a small plot of inner-city Oakland, CA, has long talked thoughtfully about eating the animals that she raises. It’s never easy, she explains. She has said that she often cries when slaughter time arrives.

In her submission, which she shared with readers on her own blog, is thoughtful, yes, but also an unvarnished proclamation that animals are domesticated as a natural, logical link in the chain of life. Enjoy the read and let her know your thoughts!

Why I Eat Meat
Last week, someone broke into my backyard and scrawled on my shed, “Don’t Kill Animals—they are our equals.” I’m an urban farmer in Oakland, well-known for raising turkeys, rabbits, goats, ducks, even pigs in my backyard and lot farm near downtown. As a city farmer, I’m used to rubbing elbows—and getting into heated arguments—with vegans and vegetarians. These meat-avoiders don’t want to kill animals. They love animals. Things is, so do I: I love animals and I love to eat them.


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