How would you explain to a child why it's okay to kill a pig but not a human or a stray dog?

Iíve never felt bad about eating meat and that hasn't changed, yet I can't find any explanation that would make sense to me and I canít stop thinking about it. I honestly have no idea what I would say.

(Changed the question from eating to kiling because that was originally what I had in mind)


Iím appalled by the amount of answers stating that there is no difference between killing a human and a pig.

So do you really (really) think the same punishment should apply to a driver that ran over a dog than to one that ran over a human?

You really couldnít explain your child why spraying insecticide on a cockroach nest and using chemical weapons on a village are very different things?

You really couldnít explain your child why itís OK to cut down a tree to make furniture (leaving several birds homeless for a while and possibly killing several others) and itís not OK to demolish your neighborís house because you need its raw materials?

The reason itís worse to kill a human being than to kill an animal of another species is that instinctively it ďfeelsĒ that way, and that should be enough of an answer - you should generally trust your moral instincts.

The ultimate reason is evolution: you share way more genes with another human than with a pig. Killing a human would prevent those genes from passing on to the next generation, and would thus hinder the survival of those genes. Thatís also the reason why you (and after a fashion most mammals, as far as I know) care more for a close relative than for a stranger.

But that ultimate reason doesnít really matter: people have known that itís OK to kill a pig but not a human way before the mechanism of evolution was discovered. It feels that way, and for good reason.


Neteller here: