The short answer to the question in Nicholas Day’s review “The Carnivore’s Dilemma” [July 13] about so-called conscientious meat eating being better for animals than vegetarianism is a resounding no as the animals still end up dead. His claim that the meat book is more concerned about animal welfare than the book on the history of vegetarianism can be explained by the fact that the meat book is modern while the history book deals with ideas from centuries ago. It’s amazing how someone with a skillful use of language can mask and distort reality.

In the scene at the abattoir Day describes the killing of a lamb he intends to eat as “honorable” and “strangely beautiful,” even though the animal clearly did not want to die. The bases for the “honor” and “beauty” are left for the reader to decipher.

Day’s writing is an excellent reminder that humans are not only rational, but also rationalizing creatures. The fact that animals must die to satisfy his appetites is hardly an indicator of noble mind-set, especially from a species that considers itself superior (and morally superior) to all others.

Patricia Panitz

Centerville, MA