The ethics of meat eating

Photo by sheffieldhammer (Julian Dobson) via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The Ethicist column at The New York Times held its first essay contest last year on why it’s ethical to eat meat.

As described by columnist Ariel Kaminer, thousands of submissions came in, which were whittled down to 29 semi-finalists, from which the judges’ panel (an esteemed but entirely male group comprising Mark Bittman, Jonathan Safran Foer, Andrew Light, Michael Pollan, and Peter Singer) selected six finalists.

Readers had a chance to vote for the one they believed best made the case for meat eating. I read all the thought-provoking pieces and was glad that I did. Since they’re fairly short (600 words or less), it didn’t take long to read them all. Head here to check out the finalists’ entries yourself.

The judges’ selection for winner appeared in The New York Times Magazine on May 6, 2012. You can read it online here.


The Conscientious Omnivore is away. This is an encore presentation of a post that originally appeared in slightly edited form on April 23, 2012.


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