So is eating chicken less cruel than eating cows and pigs?
On the one hand, it seems that birds' brains are much less developed than mammals' brains, and that our feathered friends may not be as conscious of their suffering as our furry friends. But the more I learn about modern industrial farming practices, the more it seems that the cruelty to poultry is intensified - intensified almost to the point of what's unbearable to even consider. Birds may not be as aware of their suffering, but it's sufficiently increased to make up for any short-comings.
I thought that eating fish might be less cruel than eating birds, but then I learned about by-catch and the colossal wastefulness of industrial fishing that's taken the oceans to the very brink of depletion.
Certainly invertebrates aren't as aware of their suffering as vertebrates and one doesn't need to be as heavy-handed for harvesting shellfish as for swimming fish. But somewhere along the path of mammals to avians to fish to mollusks, I lost my appetite for further research (I lost my appetite).
To eat is to kill and to perpetuate suffering for self and others. Not to eat is suicide and perpetuates suffering for self and others.
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