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Stranger 1: (on phone) Yeah Marie, that͛s great. I love when we find these excellent vegie places
for dinner. See you!

Stranger 2: Um, sorry, but are you a vegetarian? (S

  ). May I inquire why?

Stranger 1: Well, you know most of my friends took up vegetarianism because of health or
environmental reasons, but I took it up because of the animal rights abuse involved
in meat-eating. In fact, I just joined PETA, because I feel that they can help stop
these abuses.

Stranger 2: PETA? Aren͛t they the violent anti-human group? No, but really, how did you get
converted to vegetarianism by animal rights? They don͛t even have rights! Only
humans have that privilege.

PETA member: Are you serious? Animals can feel and think just like you and I!

Stranger 2: So what if they can feel and think? They aren͛t agents, they don͛t have agency. We
can plan to buy a house in 30yrs, or get married and start a family! Animals can͛t
make that kind of goals. Their goals are specific to mate, eat and excrete. Only
beings that have agency have rights, not every living thing on earth.

PETA member: Let͛s just have a look at what you just said. That means that an intellectually
disabled child who doesn͛t and cannot have agency due to impairment can be killed
because of lack of rights. What you propose would sanction genocide of disabled
children and adults! All animals have rights, regardless of whether or not they have
your so-called agency.

Stranger 2: Okay, okay! So even if, (because I am still instinctively against your viewpoint,) even
if we did give animals rights, how does that impact on me? Why would I need to
care? I haven͛t done anything to impinge on human rights, and neither have cattle
farmers and other meat producers. We bring the animals into the world, so we have
the right to kill them for our own benefit. We create, and so can destroy.

PETA member: Your argument can be seen differently. Because we are responsible for bringing
these animals into the world, that makes us more responsible for they͛re wellbeing.
And even you can͛t argue against the fact that the conditions in some of these
factory farms are atrocious, when many animals not given enough space, kept in
harsh conditions and sometimes even witness the destruction of their companions.

Stranger 2: Hey, I͛m not condoning what some factory farmers do. But they͛re just trying to
make a buck, and you͛re trying to take that from them. Just like what I said earlier.
You guys shouldn͛t be called PETA, you should be called PITEE, that͛s P-I-T-E-E.
That͛s People Intent on Terrorising Everyone Else. What͛s more important, human
welfare or animal welfare?

PETA member: I͛ll get to your point later, but do you concede that there are massive animal cruelty
and animal rights abuses due to your meat-eating habits?

Stranger 2: Well I have to, don͛t I?

PETA member: Good. Now, have you ever heard of how in many stories, the farmer͛s daughter gets
emotionally attached to a piglet, but when she realises it is being raised for
slaughter, fights for its protection? This links back to your human welfare argument.
Reflecting, we must ask the question, how long do you think a society that relies on
the pain and suffering of other species will last?

Stranger 2: Hey, you͛re grouping all the farmers together in this one. You͛ve talked about
factory farmers, but you haven͛t said anything about organic farmers. They care
about not perpetrating animal cruelty and care about animal welfare.

PETA member: Finally, I think we are getting somewhere. Probably, the best thing before
vegetarianism is restricting oneself to organic meat. Most organic meat is produced
ethically so one can hope that our habits wouldn͛t incur cruelty and animal rights
abuses. The same goes for road kill, as the animal did not face cruelty in its life.

Stranger 2: (^
 ) I͛m going to continue to eat meat, because there͛s a host of
other reasons I didn͛t get to discuss with you, however, I think I͛ll definitely restrict
myself to organically and ethically produced meat. Maybe I͛ll stay away from road
kill, though.

PETA member: That͛s great. Not many people do eat road kill. Have a nice day!

Stranger 2: Thanks. Bye!

The main arguments wielded by the interlocutors were

i? Animals don͛t have agency

i? Animals still have rights
i? We have a responsibility to care about the welfare of animals that we brought into the
i? Humans are more important than animals
i? The effects of animal cruelty on society

The conclusion reached is that it is fine to eat ethically killed organically produced meat and road kill
but not ordinary meat from factory farmers etc.

Sameer Sharma 9E