Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Sophia's Choice

Sophia is a vegan. She interns at the Humane Society and is very concerned with animal welfare. I eat meat. I offered Sophia a deal: if she ate a steak, I would refrain from eating meat for a month. On balance, meat consumption for that month would decrease, since I eat more than a steak's worth in a month. That would further her goal, even though she would be eating meat. Should Sophia accept this offer? Do vegans love animals enough to eat them?

Sophia didn't accept the offer, saying she could no longer eat meat without becoming ill, which is a fine answer, but it sidesteps the matter. Are vegans more concerned with total animal suffering or the suffering they themselves induce? Why would a vegan be reluctant to accept this offer?

Incidentally, a few people were appalled I would make this offer at all. I like to offer people choices, what can I say?