: : : Because *sigh* vegetables do not suffer pain or possess a conciousness; both of which animals have.
This is probably correct. We don't know it for certain, but we must assume it is. It's an interesting point (but I should probably keep the debate for a philosophy forum). :-)
: : "Conciousnness" ? I assume you were trying to say conscience. If : :that was the case...could you please explain to me how it is that an : :ANIMAL has one.
"Consciousness" is right.
As to the second point: You do not know that I am conscious or can feel pain. I do not know that you are conscious or can feel pain. I must work out, as well as I can from the information at hand, which things I should consider to be conscious.
You would react in a manner that I feel indicates pain if someone cut clipped your teeth without anaesthetic with a pair of hot pliers. I, therefore, deduce that you feel pain, and endeavour to avoid hurting you. When a chicken has its beak cut off with a hot knife to prevent it from pecking its cellmates to death out of frustration, it reacts in a manner which I associate with pain. Therefore, I assume that it feels pain, and endeavour to avoid supporting this action. The result is that I do not eat meat (or any other animal products, for that matter).
Sorry about this post being somewhat long-winded. This is an interesting topic, and I feel that it deserves a proper explanation.