Steiner, a vegan, also points out some of the flaws in the reasoning that meat eaters use to explain why it's okay to kill animals and not okay to do the same to humans. A couple of examples
"human beings but not animals are made in God’s image and hence stand in much closer proximity to the divine than any non-human animal; according to this line of thought, animals were made expressly for the sake of humans and may be used without scruple to satisfy their needs and desires"
"the human capacity for abstract thought makes us capable of suffering that both qualitatively and quantitatively exceeds the suffering of any non-human animal.''In concise language he demolishes the illogic of these and makes it glaringly apparent that one cannot assume that humans have a right to kill animals for food or any reason other than, I assume, self defense.
Having been a morally motivated vegetarian for about seven years from 1974-1981, none of what Steiner wrote was new to me, nor could I find anything to disagree with. I know that eating meat involves causing animals to suffer. I knew that when I made the conscious decision to start eating meat again and I have never doubted it and I accept it as a consequence of my appetite and my craft.
Like Steiner, I have little patience for those who refuse to acknowledge that no matter how well you treat it while it is alive, the act of killing an animal causes it to suffer and may be immoral. However, unlike him I'm willing to live with the fact that my actions cause suffering and may be immoral.
Op-Ed Contributor - Animal, Vegetable, Miserable - NYTimes.com