Campus Reform | Student columnist: eating meat is 'speciesism'

Student columnist: eating meat is 'speciesism'

Peek says the reaction on campus to her column has been primarily positive.

Texas State University senior Kirsten Peek took aim at factory farming and "humane" farming operations in a recent editorial.

You wouldn’t kill a human being, so why would you eat a Big Mac?

This, essentially, is the argument recently advanced by Texas State University senior Kirsten Peek in a column for TSU’s The University Star.

“Choosing to eat meat outside of a life and death situation means the craving for a hamburger is more important than the entire life of the cow being eaten,” Peek writes.

Worse yet, “[t]he factory farming industry, the source of 99 percent of meat in America, offers a short and miserable life to overcrowded animals before a painful death.” Even “humane farming operations,” Peek says aren’t truly humane. And yet nobody would treat human beings that way.

“When a human is murdered in his or her sleep, no one refers to it as a humane death,” Peek argues. But animals don’t get the same consideration. 

“This disconnect between the two situations is speciesism,” Peek writes. “It is not even putting a human life ahead of an animal life. It is putting a human appetite ahead of the life of another sentient being. Choosing to eat meat outside of a life and death situation means the craving for a hamburger is more important than the entire life of the cow being eaten.

"Like humans, farm animals are self-aware, sentient beings. They are capable of experiencing pleasure and try to avoid pain and death. Though humans may be more powerful, we owe non-human animals moral consideration and should not needlessly inflict suffering."

Peek told Campus Reform that the on campus reaction to her column “has been mostly positive.”

“I think I educated some people,” the journalism senior said.

Peek, who also recently wrote a column advocating for gender-neutral pronouns, concludes her column by arguing that “it is unethical to eat meat when humans do not need it to survive.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @peterjhasson