Most vegans would say yes.
Me, I’m curious as to if that is necessarily the case.
The logic seems to go that some of us eat animal flesh, and have no moral qualms because we view animals as some how lesser (through whatever criteria we use to separate the human from the animal). To be (an anti-speciesist) vegan, it seems, is to acknowledge that animal life, human or otherwise, is equal in value.
Is it speciesist of a black bear to eat a rabbit? I don’t think so. Is it speciesist for a black bear to raise rabbits for food? Is it speciesist for a black bear to raise rabbits in tiny cages for food? Or does it wait until the bear thinks it is better than all the rabbits? Or until all black bears systematically use cages to deny the rabbits their rights to fully developed rabbit lives?
Either way it is not the eating of rabbit flesh that makes a black bear speciesist. It is the material and/or psychic denial of equalness of being.
But we rarely consider a black bear a moral agent.
So can humans eat an animal and see that animal as an equal?
(Though I believe a lot of humans have/did for many years).
I turn to the idea of cannibalism. A person could engage in cannibalism without assuming the person they ate is essentially lesser. As the tagline for Cannibal Holocaust goes: “Better to rest in the warm belly of a friend than in the cold earth.”
Of course it could be said that an ethical cannibalism could not supply everyone with soft human fleshy bits. It wouldn’t have the productive output to supply everyone with the man-meat they desire every day.
So, maybe they shouldn’t eat it every day?
Can I eat flesh in a non-exploitive way? I whole heartedly believe so–there just aren’t that many hard and fast rules about it. I just need a different framework, a new epistemology for looking at animals, flesh, and the systems that harm them.