* From guest blogger, Arden.*
One argument on behalf of Ethical Vegetarianism that I find to be particularly weak is the argument from the sexual politics of eating meat. This argument states that there is a problematic relationship between men and women in Western and non-Western cultures, in which men are empowered over women. It further explains that there is a cultural connection between the conception of manliness and meat eating that asserts, expresses, embodies, and helps perpetuate this problematic relationship and the associated cultural practices that the relationship creates. Therefore, because eating meat contributes to this problematic relationship, we ought not to adopt a non-meat diet.
I whole-heartedly agree with the argument represented above, in that I believe that we do live in a patriarchal society in which women are routinely objectified, subjected to sexism and gender discrimination, and placed into problematic gender roles, expectations, stereotypes, and unrealistic ideals. However, the reason why I think that this argument is weak is because it is hard to say, much less prove, that not eating meat could affect such a large social concern. I agree with the fact that there is a cultural connection between manliness and eating meat, but I believe that it plays a very minute role in contributing to sexism and sexual discrimination as a whole. I also think that making the claim that people ought to not eat meat, in order to discourage gender inequality, is a fairly radical claim that could have an equally radical counterpart that would argue that one ought to eat even more meat in order to challenge these stereotypes. Therefore, I think that it is important for individuals to challenge the association between masculinity, power, and strength to eating meat, however, I have trouble justifying the claim that we are morally obligated, or ought to adopt a non-meat diet in order to discourage seuxual and gender inequality overall.