Do humans have a greater right to live than other animals? If so, would beings of much greater intelligence and perception hold that same right over humans?

I am not a vegetarian but I think I should be. I would not couch the issue in rights language but putting animals through suffering just so I can have my New York Strip Steak just seems wrong to me. Given human history, I cannot imagine what kind of arguments we humans could muster if aliens came down and proposed to us as a food source.

I am firm believer that life human or animal should be preserved whenever possible. I would also like to believe that had I lived in Nazi Germany I would have stood up for the persecuted. So how can I reconcile my strong moral convictions with my inaction regarding the mass murder of animals everyday. Ironically enough I feel guilty for letting the law and the disappointment of my family stand in the way of stopping the massacre. This guilt is causing me great pain. Please enlighten me on what I should do.

I suspect that at some level you do not really believe that the slaughter of animals is at quite the same level as the halocaust, though you seem to think you think that they are equivalent. There are pletny of evils in the world that we should be protesting but I 'm not sure that torturing yourself about not doing as much as you would like helps those causes.