Ban Meat: Too Drastic?

Colleen H. Damon

Banned. Illegal. Outlawed.

Whatever word you use, is this too drastic a legality to impose on the production and consumption of meat and other animal products?

Throughout the ages, it seems that almost nothing has been spared a ban or illegal status at some point, past or present. There have been laws against:

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Books
  • CDs
  • Films
  • Works of Art
  • People  

As a matter of fact, even if some of these things aren’t illegal where you live, there is almost certainly some sort of law governing the use of these products. Children under a certain age cannot consume alcohol or purchase nicotine products. Movies have age restrictions. CDs have parental guidance warnings. Orwell’s 1984 comes to mind, as even in today’s “modern” world, thought crimes can be committed.


Should meat be allowed?

And yet, in the majority of the world, aside from religious requirements, there are no laws on the purchase or consumption of meat.

I often find myself wondering, why it is that a sentient being, after being raped, tortured, and slaughtered, can be sold for consumption (or an equally unappetizing reason) without some sort of warning. Even if no one cares about animal or environmental rights, we care about ourselves enough— right? Animal products can be devastatingly unhealthy. Why are parents allowed to feed children products that can lead to digestive problems, heart disease, obesity, cholesterol, and diabetes, to name but a few?

What Makes the World Go Round?

A lot of (wasted) money goes into the production of animal products. Even more money goes into marketing these products as “tasty and completely healthy.” And most importantly, a lot of money is made from the “meat business.” It sounds like a grand-scale conspiracy, but the reality is far too depressing and dull for that to even be true. These big companies make a killing—literally—from selling animal products, and they don’t want that to end. That is one of the biggest reasons why people can buy and consume meat without anybody blinking an eyelid.

It goes further than this though, right down to culture. It’s not even about the mass brainwashing that causes us to grow up believing that we can love animals and eat them at the same time, or to believe that meat is healthy and delicious. It is a culture where compassion is looked down upon as a weakness. Just ask any vegan male and I am sure he will have a few stories about the wonderful things “tougher” guys have called him.

Should Meat Be Banned?

Meat is cruel, unnecessary, and unhealthy, and to that end alone I believe that it should very well be banned. But on the other hand, banning things doesn’t really get the message to sink in and can just prove inflammatory. Take cigarettes, for example. You can no longer smoke in a public place, but a smoker will be damned if you tell her she can no longer smoke at home. Or marijuana—it may be illegal in many places, but that does not stop anyone from selling and buying.

To me, the real problem with meat is not that it’s legal, but that people are desensitized to where it comes from, and brainwashed so far into not even caring when they discover the truth. Rather than banning meat, we should be exposing it. Children should be taught truths: milk is the breast secretions of another animal; steak comes from murdered animals; you can get protein from plants; and being kind is one of the greatest of human strengths.

And before we call that drastic, we should ask ourselves why almost no one thinks it is drastic to continue perpetuating a cruel, sadistic lie that destroys the earth and our health.  

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