I read this article [“The Carnivore’s Dilemma” by Nicholas Day, July 13] with hopes to understand why people think it’s OK to eat humanely raised animals. All I was left with, yet again, was a sense of nausea as once again people ignore basic principles of equality, morality, and reason. Had the animals being described been domestic dogs or cats, I doubt that your reaction, or your readers’, would have been the same. But is there a huge difference between a dog, a cat, a pig, or a lamb in terms of pain or suffering? The slaughtered lamb or pig are as equally capable of affection or love as a pet dog you might have. I believe that these types of thinking are at the roots of human discrimination based on arbitrary classifications like race, sex, and religion. Additionally, the “humane husbandry is a contract” argument is ridiculous–how can we know if the cows or pigs have given consent? Moreover, who would sign a contract to be kept, fed well, but murdered in the prime of life?

As a lifelong vegan, reading these types of articles makes me lose hope that animals will ever be free from the persecution and murder we unnecessarily force upon them, for no good reason other than to satisfy our taste buds and fashion whims. The way I see it, the question of animals being “kept well” or the concern for their well-being is unnecessary. If we didn’t eat them (and we don’t need to), there would be no dilemmas at all. I, for one, have no ethical issues to resolve–the plants that make up my diet do not have central nervous systems and cannot feel pain, certainly not like animals or humans can. And I don’t have to make that silly leap of logic that by raising and eating them, I’m somehow doing something “good” for the animals.