As one can see on social media, the accusation that meat is murder and that meat eaters are murderers have become quite prevalent. But is there any truth to this accusation?
This site attempts to address these allegations in a logical, independently sourced manner, devoid of vested interest.
"MURDER: (Noun) The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another." - Oxford Dictionaries
When one consults the online or hard copy offline dictionaries, one encounters the same general prerequisites in the definition of the term "Murder"; A human perpetrator, a human victim and an act that is not only premeditated but deemed illegal. And although some dictionaries use the word "person" instead of "human" or "human being", the definition itself rarely discusses a victim that is not human or an act that is legal.
In regards to the old English origins of the word itself, morðor means "secret killing of a person, unlawful killing" according to the Online Ethymology Dictionary. And although the Proto-Germanic version does not specify that the victim is human, this was a culture that consumed meat so the killing of an animal would not likely be considered abnormal.
The term "murder" therefore cannot technically be assigned to a scenario where animals are killed legally or illegally. It does not qualify in the english language.
Can the killing of an animal be compared to the killing of an animal?
In both situations a being is being killed. And although society recognises that these animals are sentient the impact of the killing of an animal is significantly reduced in law.
In the vast majority of the world's jurisdictions a person that unlawfully kills an animal qualifies as a poacher when the animal is wild game or fish. And other penalties are associated to the killing of animals that are the property of other humans. But neither crime results in the signifiant penalties, especially in comparison to the penalties associated to the killing of a human being.
Unlike in the case of murder, the illegal killing of an animal usually results in fines and short prison terms. And this means that not only the comparison is false but the premise that society has decided that animals are of the same value as human beings is therefore voided.
In logic, false comparisons are fallacious so the premise that the killing of an animal is tantamount to murder is therefore much more than a simple misrepresentation.
The use of the murderer accusation implies that the act of killing is limited to meat eaters and vegans can occasionally be observed claiming theirs is a kill free diet online, in contradiction to the facts (which will be addressed in the upcoming sections).
Sanctimony is not only fallacious but unethical as it is being used to impose beliefs under false pretences.
Lies are not ethical and misrepresentations are manipulative so they cannot truly be moral.