Just so we don't all have different ideas about moral relativism (because it is quite a large umbrella term), lemme pull up what Wikipedia has to say:
"Moral relativism may be any of several philosophical positions concerned with the differences in moral judgments across different people and cultures. Descriptive moral relativism holds only that some people do in fact disagree about what is moral; meta-ethical moral relativism holds that in such disagreements, nobody is objectively right or wrong; and normative moral relativism holds that because nobody is right or wrong, we ought to tolerate the behavior of others even when we disagree about the morality of it."
My beef is with the idea of a moral vegetarian who is also a meta-ethical moral relativist (and, consequently, a normative moral relativist), which I find quite odd. Meta-ethical moral relativism is named as such because it deals with what people refer to as 'morals', and is a metaphysical argument about the existence and nature of this entity. What most meta-ethical relativists conclude is that there is, in effect, no difference between morality and preference, tradition or culture. In this case, a meta-ethical moral relativist's moral beliefs are no longer quite regarded as moral beliefs any more, because there is no longer a quality that distinguishes them from all of his/her other beliefs.
However, moral vegetarianism IS a moral belief, and the term exists because it is necessary to distinguish between people who abstain from meat because it is wrong (this can be for environmental reasons as well), and people who abstain from meat because they prefer not to, whatever the reason. Without this distinction, moral vegetarianism has no meaning. It's acceptable for a meta-ethical relativist vegetarian to think that moral vegetarianism is a meaningless term, but a meta-ethical relativist cannot be a moral vegetarian because he/she simply does not match the description.
Anyway, I'm not saying that Siv is a meta-ethical moral relativist. These positions are all simplifications, and there are many shades of grey in between. He does argue that people should associate eating meat with the act of killing an animal (which sounds like a moral argument to me), but it stops short of moral vegetarianism because he admits that people can do so and still continue to eat meat, so vegetarianism is not the logical conclusion. It's half morality, half preference. Ultimately, I don't think that moral vegetarian is the appropriate term.
Edited by Yingchen - 7/18/13 at 5:48pm