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Vegetarianism is one of the weird trends of the 21st century. Those who consider the consumption of meat as ethically wrong many times target the animal sacrificing ritual of Islam. Vegetarians/Vegans at least consistently go after what they believe in despite having distorted opinions. There is another kind of individuals who consume meat and use animal products all the time, but when the animal sacrificing ritual of Islam is under discussion, their love of animals suddenly flare up and they react as if the meat they consume daily is harvested from a farm. We leave the latter group to God’s judgment; they have committed themselves to be averse to Islam. Now let’s demolish the arguments of the former group and prove the rightness of consuming meat.

    Vegetarians think that animals don't die when we don't eat them due to their superficial evaluation of the subject matter. Indeed, biological sciences debunk this claim. We can think of the food chain in nature as a pyramid. In this pyramid, there are producers (mostly plants), herbivores and carnivores respectively from bottom to top. Let's assume that humans stopped eating meat and this prompted an increase in the number of herbivores (because humans only eat herbivores), then the number of carnivores would increase too after a particular time as they would be able to find abundant prey. Carnivores with their increased population would prey on more herbivores, resulting in the death of even more herbivores. Namely, there is such a firm balance in nature that humans' refusal of consuming meat is going to be compensated for by the increased population of carnivores that will eventually offset the number of herbivores losing their lives. Any slight change in the food chain is automatically offset by the firm ecological balance, diminishing the effect of the change in the long run. Humans’ refusal of eating meat is tantamount to carnivores’ eating more meat and this situation does not benefit herbivores at all. On the contrary, getting violently killed by a predator is more painful for an herbivore than having its throat slashed by a butcher which will cause only a second of pain. The sacrificing of animals in Islam is even beneficial for animals when judged from this perspective; it provides the animal with a much less painful death that would otherwise experience a quite violent one.

    One may claim that the animals that are kept in barns are outside the food chain present in nature, and the above-mentioned argument doesn’t apply to them. This is true to some extent because we raise these animals exclusively for our consumption and often feed these animals with artificial food. However when judged from the secular perspective, we can say that these animals survive thanks to us because we feed and protect them, and their population wouldn’t have increased this much if it weren’t for our animal husbandry practice. Namely even from the secular perspective, two seconds of pain that we give them while butchering is negligible compared to the lifelong feeding and protection that we provide for them, and the good we do to them exceeds the harm we give them in the practice of animal husbandry.

    Every animal is created for a purpose and for a mission that they take on in nature. The mission of herbivores is conveying the nutrients of plants to carnivores. Animals are only motivated and controlled by their instincts, without the perception of past, present, and future. We cannot make empathy with animals while evaluating them and assume that they have humanistic features and perceptions. If we are to make empathy with them, nobody can object to this claim: “Animals have a quite boring life consisting of eating all day long, we are saving them from this boring life by slaughtering them.” For example, the purpose of horses’ creation is facilitating transportation, nobody can say to someone who is riding a horse “That horse is not your servant; you do not have a right to tire it”, or nobody can say to the owner of a guard dog “Did you take your dog’s consent for the job of guarding your house?” God has created animals for us and he has given us the right to utilize them. If an herbivore that is eaten by a carnivore physically suffers, a carnivore that is dying of hunger for not eating an herbivore physically suffers even more. So don’t so-called animal-loving vegetarians who oppose eating meat infringe the rights of carnivorous animals by their logic?

    These arguments are not meant that we shouldn’t care about animal rights and neglect their well-being. Our Prophet had always emphasized the rights of animals, he forbade us from hurting them by any means and ordered us to give as little pain as possible when sacrificing them. However, there is no doubt that the lives of humans are more valuable than the lives of animals, speculating on this fact is unacceptable. There are four pillars that explain why vegetarianism gained currency in the West: Darwinism that regards humans as merely animals thus judging animals on the same ground as humans, liberalism which is so obsessed with freedom and individualism that champions total liberty for animals, men who pretend to be animal-loving in order to look cuter and more compassionate to attract females and women who disguise their endless diet to lose weight as vegetarianism (!).

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