We’re about to take a deep dive into the meat tank — strap on your offal fins and your byproduct snorkels, y’all. There will be blood. Or at least shouting.

People yell at each other a lot when discussing meat on the internet. The acrimony, I think, stems from the different lens we use when we think about meat. Here are three of the most important ways of seeing it: Meat as an integral part of the planetary food web; meat as a creature that suffered and died; and meat as nourishment for hungry humans.

Your perspective is going to be totally different depending on whether you’re most focused on sustainability, animal rights, or feeding people. But unless you can switch between these ways of seeing, you are going to have a hard time talking to people coming from a different vantage.