Should vegeterians be friends with meat eaters?

For the purposes of this thread, I’m referring to people who are vegeterians due to moral reasons, and not due to health reasons, or simply because that how they were raised.

How can “moralist” vegetarians be friends with people who kill and eat animals?

In general, I cannot be friends with people who are immoral (steal, kill, belong to organized crime, etc). In fact I cannot think of anything that I consider immoral for me to do, that I would think “It’s OK if others choose to do so, and I can still be their friend”.

So, how come vegetarians give their meat-eating friends a pass, if they themselves consider it bad to kill animals so that we can eat them?

I’m not a vegetarian, but I find myself increasingly thinking that it may not be a good thing to kill and eat animals, and I’m toying with the idea of becoming a vegetarian, although it would be difficult since I was raised in a heavy meat-eating environment.

In any case, if I ever decide to become a vegetarian, I won’t stop being friends with meat-eaters (I think). Why is that?

Are there some things that we avoid because we consider them immoral, but we tolerate in others?

Eating meat seems to be one of those things

  1. Why is that?
  2. Are there others?
  3. Are there in fact some vegetarians who won’t socialize with meat eaters?

Um… Without the least bit of trouble? I don’t require that my friends require every bit of my personal code, and why should I? I’m okay with people not being like me. One of me is about all I can put up with.

My youngest brother and his wife are both vegetarians (for many years), and we have no philosphical problems about what we choose to eat.

Can you give an example of something else you don’t do for moral reasons that you are OK with if your friends do it?

Should vegeterians be friends with meat eaters?

Obviously not! When meat eaters invite you over for dinner, you never know if YOU are going to be the main course…

Well, for one thing, the morality of meateating is much more debatable that child molesting, theft or murder. For another, they aren’t likely to worry that their meateating friends are going to leap upon them and devour them; a thief might pocket the silverware.

Great minds think alike, I see…

I’m sure there are lots of things in life whose morality is debatable, besides eating meat.
Do you have an example of something you don’t do due to moral reasons, but you don’t mind if others do it?


Hmmm…not really. See, I seem to consider fewer things moral issues than most people do, but what I care about, I really care about. Also, my morality tends to center about behavior I consider dangerous/predatory; by definition such people are dangerous, even to another predator, much less me. If a moral issue is as debatable as meateating, I don’t consider it a moral issue at all, so the question doesn’t come up.

The people who’s behavior I tolerate like that are those I consider stupid/fools/ignorant/dupes, not those I consider bad people.

FTR, are you a vegeterian?
If yes, why?


Polyamorous relationships, maybe? Although I don’t know if I’m against it because of “morality” or just because I find the idea distasteful (for ME). But yeah, there’s an example.

But that’s a critical distinction.

If you’re not against them for moral reasons, then this is not a good example.

If for no other reason, than to persuade your meat eating friends to change their wicked ways.

So I can moo or oink or cluck while they eat?

Actually, I make most of my friends feel guilty for eating meat, not because I try, just because they agree with me but are unable to take that leap. I feel strongly about many things I consider to be moral issues (the environment, politics, etc), but I don’t expect all my friends to agree with me 100% on everything. But I do know my friends are good people, and that you change more minds through action rather than yelling and nit-picking. Sorry this isn’t the greatest answer, but I’ll try and think about it some more…

Oh, and have you ever actually hung out with vegetarians? Talk about annoying.

-Voting for a pro-life candidate.
-Voting for a pro-war candidate.
-Not voting.
-Purchasing goods made in sweatshops solely to save a small amount of money.

These are all things that I consider immoral, and things that I have friends who do. Eating meat is another one of them.

I believe that eating meat is objectively immoral, which is why I don’t do it. However, I also believe that I could be mistaken, which is why I can befriend folks who do it.


The way I vote comes to mind. And not everyone I know is as adamantly pro-choice as I am. It’s easier to think of hypothetical examples than the real thing: most of my friends roughly share my political views, but I wouldn’t rule someone out because I learned they didn’t.

Is it morally wrong to be friends with people who have commited any form of wrongdoing? If so, then shalln’t we all be living on an island or something?

Actually, it shall be “If so, then shalln’t we each shall be living on an island by ourselves?” :smack:

Well, I wouldn’t want to spend time with a thief, because he might steal from me.

I wouldn’t want to spend time with a murderer, because he might murder me.

I wouldn’t mind spending time with a meat-eater, though, because odds are he’s not going to eat me. Unless I happen to be a cow, and I admit I am not entirely ready to rule out that possibility just yet.

[sub]NB: I’m a meat-eater myself.[/sub]