I'm thinking about cutting back my meat consumption for the sake of the environment, but I don't want to go completely meat free. I'm thinking about continuing to eat pork but not beef, since I respect cattle more than pigs as the former have been a vital part of human agriculture for centuries yet the latter would eat human babies trapped in its pen. Am I right in setting up this hierarchy of life unworthy of life?

I'd suggest doing some research on both the environmental impact of cattle and pork farming and production and the reasons to respect, as you put it, each species. My own research is incomplete, but from what I've seen, pig factory farming is particularly nasty for the environment (e.g., the sewage leaking into waterways in North Carolina), and pigs are likely the most intelligent of the animals we raise for food (some claim they are roughly on par with dogs). I'm not sure how relevant it is that they might eat human babies! (If true, let's make sure not to leave any babies in their pens.) In any case, I think the decision to cut down our production and consumption of all factory farmed animals is overdetermined: there are good reasons based on morality (preventing mass amounts of unnecessary suffering), protecting the environment (note that animal farts contribute to global warming!), and improving our health. Having said this, I admit I still purchase some factory farmed meat for my family. And until we make a concerted effort to change our society's dietary habits, it will be difficult to phase out factory farming in the way we should. For now, can the fast food joints at least offer veggie burgers!?

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