La ética del comer

Se ha predicho que el consumo mundial de carne se duplicará para el año 2020. Sin embargo, en Europa y América del Norte existe una creciente preocupación sobre la ética de cómo se producen la carne y los huevos. El consumo de ternera ha caído drásticamente desde que se conoció que para producir la así llamada ternera “blanca” (en realidad, rosa pálido), las crías recién nacidas son separadas de sus madres, deliberadamente se las vuelve anémicas, se les niega el acceso a forraje y se las mantiene en establos tan estrechos que no pueden caminar ni cambiar de orientación.

En Europa, la enfermedad de las vacas locas dejó impactada a mucha gente, no sólo porque hizo pedazos la imagen de la carne de vacuno como un alimento sano y seguro, sino porque se supo que la causa de la enfermedad fue la práctica de dar como alimento sesos y tejido nervioso de ovejas al ganado vacuno. Quienes ingenuamente creían que las vacas comían pasto descubrieron que el ganado vacuno obligado a comer en lotes de alimentación come desde maíz hasta pescado, residuos de pollo (incluidos sus excrementos) y desechos de los mataderos.

La preocupación sobre cómo tratamos a los animales está lejos de limitarse al pequeño porcentaje de personas que son vegetarianas y veganas, es decir, que no comen ningún producto animal. A pesar de los sólidos argumentos éticos del vegetarianismo, todavía no es una posición generalizada. Más común es la opinión de que se justifica comer carne, siempre y cuando los animales tengan una vida decente antes de que se los mate.

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