Is It Okay to Eat Horse Meat?


Horses are beautiful animals and anyone who eats horse meat is immoral.

Q1 Analysis

If you never eat animals that you consider beautiful, this is not a Q1 violation.

Q2 Analysis

This is likely a Q2 violation unless you never eat animals that anyone considers beautiful. It is also a violation if you require that everyone agree with your opinion of what animal beauty is.


It is difficult to make global moral statements that are based on personal feelings without violating Q2. This is because judgements of beauty, value, happiness, attractiveness, and similar fuzzily defined qualities, are, at heart, subjective. You cannot demand that others agree your baby is beautiful, for example. Even if you could convince them to say your child is beautiful, you cannot insist that they believe it.

There is nothing problematic with thinking that eating horse meat is disgusting so long as you respect others’ right to consider your behavior disgusting in similar circumstances. But thinking that something is disgusting is not sufficient reason to condemn those who do it unless you are willing to avoid any practices that other people might find disgusting (eating baloney, publicly displaying affection, cleaning out a septic tank, performing surgery, etc.).

This is not to say that there can never be a logically consistent reason to believe that eating a certain type of animal is wrong. By Q2, it is clear that eating humans can be condemned on the grounds that you don’t want people thinking of you as a source of nourishment. But keeping our focus on eating horses, this practice might reasonably be condemned because:

This post is based on an excerpt from Ask Yourself to be Moral, by D. Cancilla, available at and See the 2Q system page for details of the philosophical system mentioned in this post.

Posted on April 27, 2010 at 10:05 am by ideclare · Permalink
In: 2Q

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