Meaningless Arguments #3: Are Eggs Meat? Part 2

Welcome back, readers, to Meaningless Arguments, in which eggs are assigned more value in debate than sustainability and world peace.

As a trial, for this part, we shall forgo the interruption character and be gentlemen of the lowest highest order.

Last part saw the advent of two key arguments, one for and one against the meatship of eggs.

Adam’s Argument:

My argument is twofold. Firstly, if sustenance is derived from animal flesh, it is considered meat. Eggs would best be considered meat for this reason. Secondly, the property of being meat must be like radio buttons: either on or off. Therefore, edge cases must be either considered meat or not. I vouch for their consideration as meat, as few would deny meatship to sausages, bologna, and the like.

Thomas’ Argument:

Eggs are not meat because meat is traditionally animal muscle tissue or muscle tissue byproducts such as sausage, hamburger, salami, and yes, even hot dogs, or at least good ones.


Adam: We discussed mostly your argument in the previous part. What problems do you have with mine?

Thomas: Well, first and most blatantly, eggs cannot be grandfathered in by popular recognition, for if they were universally recognized as meat then vegetarians and the lot will have conscience to answer to for the past few generations, to say the least. And if there is no gray ground like you say, then, due to the extreme external cultural evidence against and no apparent internal scientific evidence for it, we are forced to consider it un-meat.

Adam: If what vegetarians do and don’t eat is to be used as a benchmark for what is and isn’t meat, then we should consider the purposes of vegetarianism. In general, there seem to be two key reasons people become vegetarians. The first of which I am somewhat less interested in: that they want to [slams fist against heart, does strained passionate voice] resist the meat companies and their unholy practices and treatment of animals! The second reason is that people really like animals and they don’t want to eat them. From this, I say that since eggs are mass-produced like any other meat, the first reason for vegetarianism is not the reason for which vegetarians do not eat eggs. Instead, it is because they have yet to hatch. The cute little chicks aren’t what they’re eating as far as they’re concerned, so they may either consciously or subconsciously reconcile vegetarianism with eating eggs.

Thomas: To start off with, there is a third group of vegetarian: the somewhat foolish one who decides to forfeit the great joy of omnivorism to be “healthier.” But now I call upon our radical Jainistesque friends, the vegans, who cannot eat eggs. Why? Because it is an animal byproduct. Like milk, you claim meat is simply animal tissue. Well, to ignore my objection, I have to point it’s not even tissue; it’s a single cell, an unfertilized haploid cell, which does not even have the full amount of genetic material; it’s not even a full cell yet, since it is really only 1% real cell material like organelles. Mostly, an egg is protein and water, with some other nice chemicals to nurture the chicken embryo. That is as almost as different as coconut “meat” is from meat.

Adam: I would like to begin with the end of your statement. Is the volume of animal cells not always dominated by cytoplasm? That point seems unrelated to the argument. Secondly, I concede that unfertilized eggs should not be considered meat. However, in singling out unfertilized eggs, fertilized eggs are highlighted as an important point of discussion.

Thomas: If I may be so bold to speak. Firstly, I defend my point of percentage; a cell is mostly cytoplasm, but honestly we are looking at a difference of 100μm^3 organelle to 1000 μm^3 cytoplasm versus 100 μm^3 organelle to somewhere around 30,000-300,000μm^3 cytoplasm-like fluid. (I do not think it is all cytoplasm, but I am not sure). Secondly, though, who eats fertilized eggs? That is something you avoid when you’re egg shopping. [Ed. Note – well, unless you’re making balut.]

Adam: At this point, I’m grasping. I shall not attempt to argue my point any further, as you have made it clear that it is fundamentally flawed.

And that’s it for “Are Eggs Meat?” The answer, as everybody likely thought, is no, but until now there was no way for us to know with certainty. We will see you next issue with a particularly meaningless argument.

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