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Quora Answer : What are some good reasons to stop eating pork?

Nov 18, 2014

I gave up eating pork when I read that pigs showed signs of passing the Mirror test. (Pigs learn what a mirror image represents and use it to obtain information)

Previously, I'd always defend my meat-eating (to vegetarian friends) by saying I wouldn't eat animals that have a sense of self and are therefore capable of knowing themselves to be suffering or in danger. I only eat animals that lack this capacity, and are therefore not individuals or persons. (However much apparent distress they show when being slaughtered.)

Right now, the mirror test is the best test we have for a sense of self in animals. In the pig case, the evidence is fairly weak. (As both my vegetarian and carnivore friends keep reminding me.) Nevertheless, it seems to me that it's enough that we should adopt a generous / precautionary attitude that it's possible that they do have selves.

And given my previous stance, that personhood is my line for eatability, I've had to give up pork or become hypocritical. I've been fairly successful over the last four to five years. I'm sure I've accidentally eaten it a couple of times. But never deliberately. And if I discover, say bacon in the food I'm given, I will meticulously remove it or reject the whole plate.

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