Meat is Murder?

On the way home from church today, my 17 year-old son pointed out a van with more than a dozen bumper stickers plastered on its backside. “Meat is Murder,” he read out loud.

I asked him what he thought that meant.

“Killing animals for meat is murder?” he said.

“Yes, that is what you are being led to believe,” I said. “But it’s not true! By definition, only humans can be murdered, I’m pretty sure.”

I decided to check my facts right then and there (my son was driving). I looked up “definition of murder.”

From the Free Dictionary, murder is “The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice.” Murder is an act against a human, not an animal.

You can’t “murder” an animal. Kill, yes. Slaughter, yes. But not murder. The statement, “Meat is Murder” bothered me not so much because of the misuse of the definition of the word “murder,” but because the phrase equated the life of an animal used for food to the life of a human.

There are those who debate the value of a human’s life compared to the value of an animal’s life, and I can understand that (not agree with, but understand). Man can be exceedingly cruel both to his own kind and to animals. Animals may be beasts, but men can be monsters.

However, to equate killing animals for food to the murder of humans is to devalue human life. Are we not more than human meat?


About Diane Windingland
I speak for organizations that want their people to have better, more profitable conversations.

4 Responses to Meat is Murder?

  1. Diane,
    I really admire how you turned the situation into a teachable moment, not to mention I agree with your conclusion. Michael

  2. Michael–As they get older, you’ve got to subtly latch on to those teachable moments! Seventeen year-old’s know everything, remember?

  3. Levia says:

    And yet the terms for death or dying can be classified for both of the different animal species, The human animal that creates dictionaries, and the other animals.

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