Can Someone Be Pro-Life and Not Vegetarian?

Pro-Life, Vegetarian, Eat, Meat, Animals, Life, Abortion

Some people would argue that being pro-life should extend beyond human beings to all living creatures.

Such people ask, “How can you be pro-life and not vegetarian?”

First, it should be noted that humans are very distinct as a species. We have a specific place in our world—this is referred to as “human exceptionalism.”

From the moment of conception, the lives of preborn humans should be viewed as having importance and moral value equal to all other people in a society.

First and foremost, we are called to uphold the dignity of life, especially because human beings have both physical and metaphysical aspects to their personhood.

Most people agree that if there is an afterlife, the souls of animals will probably die with their bodies, and they do not possess the capacities for the same kinds of intelligence or free will that humans can.

Because of this, it is essential that we seek to protect human life above all, and encourage others to do the same.

Only after we have secured a deep respect for all of humanity can we really begin to develop a sincere appreciation and respect for all other forms of life.


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9 thoughts on “Can Someone Be Pro-Life and Not Vegetarian?

  1. I am a pro life vegan. I do not believe that any sentient being is of less value than another. I catch lots of flack from liberals for not being pro abortion because many believe that any free thinker would be . I find that to be odd. I also catch flack from pro life people for valueing all life equally as if claiming animal rights some how devalues human life. Many people claim the two are unrelated. I do not. I value all life equal. I also am a lil disturbed of how many pro life folks are pro war.

  2. I agree with Acen111. I do not understand how you can be “pro life” and still be fine with the routine killing of thousands of animals a year. That is in no way “pro life”. It is also important to note that animals are way beyond the development of infants. For example pigs have the intelligence of a three year old child. So killing a pig should be as bad as killing a three year old child. And the same as killing unborn infants. They are all alive and if you are “for life”, you should not at the same time be supporting killings. Those are conflicting ideas.

    1. The issue you bring up, Kat, is one of moral equivalence. The point you are making deals with the value of humans and the value of animals. You seem to contend that intelligence gives someone a measure of value (as indicated with your example of the pig vs. unborn), but why would intelligence give someone value? What reason could be offered to argue for the assertion that having a level of intelligence gives one value? You only claim that this quality gives someone value, but you do not give any reason for me to agree with you. Why pick the property of intelligence over something like having a belly-button point out instead of in?

      The truth of the matter is, if you want to stick with your position on intelligence being value-giving, you have to give up the notion of human equality. For if intelligence gives someone value, than those who have more of it have greater value. You either have to accept this idea or resort to making an arbitrary distinction between levels of intelligence and corresponding levels of value.

      In addition to this, you seem to agreed with Acen111 on the point that elevating the life of animals does not degrade the value of humans. But have you considered the implications of that view? If a human child is drowning in a lake right beside a drowning pig, you have no moral obligation to save the human instead of the pig! You may choose to save the human out of emotional attachment, but the fact of the matter is, if someone decided to save the pig instead of the child, you could never say that that person was wrong. Is this really a view of human value that you want to subscribe to?

      Two final points: 1) why would a child’s level of development (whether in or out of the womb) have any bearing on their right to life? Why do you require the unborn to have the ability to immediately exercise the capacity for intelligence? babies do not have the ability to exercise their qualities in a mature form until much later in life, but why would you require a baby to be able to function in the same way that you do? You didn’t when you were that age.
      2) would you be opposed to infanticide? I hope so. But on what grounds would be able to maintain your position on abortion and still oppose infanticide? The only difference is 8″ of travel down the birth canal. No relevant difference in intelligence occurs. What value altering property is suddenly added to a baby at the time of birth?

      I hope this helps to clear things up on the issue of moral equivalence.

  3. I’m just confused. One of the reasons I am pro-life is because I think you should put others before yourself. I am NOT a vegetarian because eating meat is a habit and I naturally have no problem eating meat. Should I be a vegatarian if I am pro-life?

  4. I agree with ACEN111 and Kat. I am pro-life. I am also a vegetarian who is pro-life (and I get **alot** of flack from both sides as well).

    @Aarontj95- I am a little bit lost about human exceptionalism- I cannot say that I agree. I do *not* believe that we are necessarily better or exceptional in the animal kingdom. I say this because evolutionarily (yes- I *do* believe in Evolution based on the very compelling fact that we share the **same** indigenous retroviruses in our DNA as other species in the **same** location (for a look on this, please check out this video that discusses retroviruses and pseudogenes in our DNA and in the DNA of all of the animal kingdom).

    I believe that what **does** separate some forms of life from others is the complexity of that life- Animals and reptiles are more complex than plants. Plants are more complex then bacteria and fungi. Bacteria and fungi are more complex than viruses.

    I am familiar with the argument that human beings have a soul- and that having a soul is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. It is worth noting that there is absolutely ***no*** evidence in support of this. Although we may (or may not) have one, the respect for life- I believe that an argument in support of life must be based on what constitutes life- and what varying degrees of complexity of life this applies to.
    And for this reason- I am a pro-life vegetarian.

    I wish I could accept the idea that human beings are unique, but until I am shown such evidence, I cannot in good consciousness elevate our status above that of similarly complex creatures.

  5. All beings are created by source. Animals have just as much right to live a happy life and not be eaten, just as a human baby.

    The moral dilemma of being able to save one drowning being, applies between wife and mother, just as it applies between two puppies. For example, two puppies are drowning at equal distance from you, and by the time you save one, the other would die. Therefore, this hypothetical brain exercise does not take away any animal rights.

  6. “Most people agree that if there is an afterlife, the souls of animals will probably die with their bodies…”

    Some theologians speculate otherwise. I don’t have any inside information as to whether there is a heaven above at all, for any of us, but I certainly hope that there is, and I also hope that there is room for more than just human beings. Remember that many believe that nothing is impossible for God.

    And I believe that respecting the lives of non-human animals AND unborn human animals is more synonymous than antonymous, in spite of the sad fighting that has taken place between the two causes.

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