Is there any true moral difference between killing and eating a kitten vs a pig?

Is there any true moral difference between killing and eating a kitten and killing and eating a pig?

Just curious what the argument(s) regarding this distinction would be by those who think there is a moral difference.

Kittens are cute, furry l’il things?

I’ve always been fond of eating pussy, myself :wink:

(Well somebody was going to say it)

Are kittens kosher?

Moral? Nope.

But there are certain…ah… culinary differences.

I like my pig with horse radish, you see.

And with kitten, nothing but barbecue sauce will do. :wink:

They’d both eat you, so fair’s fair.

That said, we’ve made a deal with cats. Last time I checked, rats still ate about 20% of the world’s grain production. We grow the grain, cats eat the rats, we eat the grain, we don’t eat the cats. If we let them in our houses, they eat the rodents that try to get into our stored grain. It’s all good. The deal’s off if there’s a severe food shortage, like a general famine or a closed apartment with a dead owner, but cats are okay with that.

Pigs don’t contribute to our food resources in any way other than being a food resource, or possibly finding truffles.

I see it as a contractual thing.

Well, that and cats are evil bastards who are small and pigs are evil bastards who are big, so it’s in our best interests to concentrate on the greater threat.

You people crack me up… I am simply not wity enough to think up those kinds of responses… but my answer to the OP:

No: Animals were made to be food for humans (at least IMO). But on one hand, the kitten is probably not going to harm you and looks so damn cute I don’t know why you would want to kill it?! Also, you wouldn’t get very much meat off of it. On the other hand, a cat is much more likely to eat you if you die than another domesticated animal (i think; no cites). So, if you are that hungry, eat the kitten. But if you have a choice, eat the pig, it will taste better (i would imagine…never tried kitten).

Moral difference? No…but our society frowns on the consumption of housepets for food. I think it highly unlikely that one would be able to persist in the routine consumption of cats (or dogs or…whatever) should it become public knowledge.

Cats are carnivores and require more resources to breed. (i.e. if you have the meat to feed to the cats, why not eat them yourself?) So if you think wasting resources is a sin, then eating cats is immoral.

If the cats grow up by hunting mice on their own then they’re doing you a service, and again some might consider it immoral to eat them.

Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores…

depends which ethical school of thought one subscribes to.

according to normative relativism there is a true moral difference because its not normal to eat cats.

according to utilitarianism, if it makes you happy, its good, however if it bothers more ppl than it pleases, than tis bad.

according to theists, its generally not good to eat cats cuz it pisses god off, god put em on earth to play with and thats all ye should be doin.

according to discordian theists, all morals are equally true yet equally false, so your fucked either way.

perhaps the real question is not regarding the existence of the true moral difference in this microcosmic situation but rather "is there any true morality? is it just a social control mechanism? is it the word of god?

you figure it out

It’s more cultural than anything. Each culture deems certain animals off-limits when it comes to dining options. Indians wouldn’t think of eating a cow, nor would most Americans eat a dog.

In our culture, we have designated cows as food animals and cats and dogs as pets. We name them, love them, anthropomorphize them, and recognise their personalities. You generally don’t do that with an animal you’re going to eat. Even if it’s not your cat, you may think of a pet you once had, or a friend’s pet. Whereas, a cow is just a “thing,” mindless, without personality (except in Gary Larson cartoons) and anonymous. Few people have a pet cow. Horses are another animal that we hesitate to eat, though we don’t exactly consider them pets. Yet, when I was in France, I had a lovely meal of horse meat. It just depends on what your culture considers tasty or taboo. Morals are culturally created.

The cuteness of an animal is not necessarily a deterrent, either. Kittens, of course, are cute, and we smile at watching them play. Calves are also very cute, (but try giving a ball of string to a calf) but we have no compunction about eating them. I think that pigs are cute, even as adults (unless filthy) and pork is one of our favorite White Meats. It’s not necessarily the youth of the animal, either, because animal fetus is considered a delicacy in some cultures, and, of course, we enjoy veal. It’s just how close we are to the species as a culture.

Consider, though, that in a famine situation, we would eat kittens to stay alive more easily than most could accept cannibalism. There are limits to our pets-as-food taboo.


I have a friend who has a pet pig. Ask her if she thinks it is more moral to eat it than my cat.

If you ask me I would say yes only for the fact that our culture has a strong history of eating pigs and not cats. We eat rabbits too, well some of us, and they are cute and furry. We don’t eat spiders and such because, again, our culture, not because of how they look. Insects have worthwhile ingredients and you can dress em up to be quit tasty. So there is a moral difference.


You can find many carnivores on a menu, mostly in an exotic category because of what you said. I would be shocked to see tabby as an appetizer on any menu in the western world, maybe a wild feline is probable for the “exotic” category. Not saying it is impossible, just that I would be shocked.

err, what Lissa said.

Pigs are more intelligent than cats, so if you could make a case for either being less moral (which I don’t think you really can), it would be less moral to eat a pig. I’ve never eaten cat, but I imagine part of the reason that we prefer pigs is that pigs taste better than cats, and have way more meat on them.

Right with ya, blowero. I’ve never eaten cat either, but I sure love pig. Man I could eat pig all day…sometimes I do. Once we had a pig roast, and after we ate all the meat that had been previously pulled off the pig, I just went over to the pig and started pulling chunks of pork out of it and eating ‘em. Pork frickin’ rules.

Seriously though, I think the morality of killing something is a threshold issue. To me, it’s only wrong to kill a sentient being with future-oriented mental states. This means humans, possibly apes, dogs, and dolphins too, but none of those are confirmed. So even if the pig is smarter than the cat, neither one is apparently above the threshold of personhood, so eat away.

Of course, even if pigs started doing algebra next week, I’d still eat 'em. It might be wrong, but if eating pork is wrong I don’t wanna be right :wink:

I don’t see any moral difference, but how does a cat taste? Perhaps that may have something to do with eating pork rather than cat-meat. Plus, pigs generally don’t hunt mice.

I ate dog in China once. It was very gamey, like hare or rabbit.

That’s news to me.

I don’t see any objective moral difference (hmmm, objective morality?); subjective personal sensibilities would make me reluctant to eat the kitten, but that’s all.