Despite the growing popularity of vegetarian foods and diets, the vast majority of people in North America and other parts of the affluent world still eat meat. This article explores what ordinary people think about eating animals and how they navigate the ethical questions inherent in that praxis. Drawing from interviews with 24 people living in Ottawa, Canada, the study shows how the concepts of dominion, stewardship and reconciliation manifest in the everyday lives of ordinary people as models for human relations with nonhuman others and the environment. These ideas resonate in the lives of ordinary people, both religious and nonreligious, and entwine as people try to make sense of how to live with the fact that their everyday food consumption causes suffering and harm. This study shows that in the context of everyday life, dominion, stewardship and reconciliation are not alternative views, but connected to each other, and serve different purposes. The study highlights a need for analyses that constitute practical ways to renew the broken relationships within creation and which incorporate nonreligious people into the scope of analyses that focus on the relationships between humans and nonhuman creation.
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