Moral Vegetarianism, Part 3 of 13

Animal Ethics

For an explanation of this feature, click on “Moral Vegetarianism” at the bottom of this post. Most moral vegetarians list fish and fowl as animals one should not eat. First, it may be argued that only animals who can feel pain are not to be eaten. The ability to feel pain is not an obviously plausible way of morally distinguishing microorganisms from other organisms. Hence, they have the same moral status as plants, which is no moral status at all.

Moral Vegetarianism, Part 1 of 13

Animal Ethics

A third of a century ago, when the modern animal-liberation movement was in its infancy, Martin published an essay entitled “A Critique of Moral Vegetarianism,” Reason Papers (fall 1976): 13-43. This was two years after Robert Nozick discussed the moral status of nonhuman animals in Anarchy, State, and Utopia (New York: Basic Books, 1974) and one year after Peter Singer published Animal Liberation (New York: Avon Books, 1975).

Moral Vegetarianism, Part 8 of 13

Animal Ethics

For an explanation of this feature, click on “Moral Vegetarianism” at the bottom of this post. In fact, animals used for food do suffer a great deal. Now there is no doubt that the actual treatment of animals used for food is immoral, that animals are made to suffer needlessly. One argument is this: The present practice of treating animals used for food is immoral and should be changed. But my eating meat is not such a necessary condition for cruelty to animals.

J. J. C. Smart on the Moral Status of Animals

Animal Ethics

I assumed that Hume was right in thinking that ultimately morality depends on how we feel about things. It is a merit of utilitarianism, with its stress on happiness and unhappiness, that lower animals must be considered along with human beings, so that they are not debarred from full or direct consideration because they are not "rational." Many prominent animal-rights advocates (such as Tom Regan ) are deontologists rather than consequentialists.

Peter Singer on Animal Rights

Animal Ethics

It would only be surprising to one who assumes that my case for animal liberation is based upon rights and, in particular, upon the idea of extending rights to animals. My basic moral position (as my emphasis on pleasure and pain and my quoting Bentham might have led Fox to suspect) is utilitarian. I make very little use of the word 'rights' in Animal Liberation , and I could easily have dispensed with it altogether.

J. Baird Callicott on Environmental Ethics

Animal Ethics

There are intractable practical differences between environmental ethics and the animal liberation movement. Very different moral obligations follow in respect, most importantly, to domestic animals, the principal beneficiaries of the humane ethic. Environmental ethics sets a very low priority on domestic animals as they very frequently contribute to the erosion of the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic communities into which they have been insinuated.

Robert Young on Killing Animals

Animal Ethics

Does my proposal as to what makes killing another human being generally a major moral wrong in any way help us with deciding what, if anything, is wrong with killing non-human animals and foetuses? It seems reasonable to believe that many animals share in common with us that they have things they want to do in and with their lives or which they may come to want (either again or for the first time).

Peter Singer on the Wrongness of Killing Animals

Animal Ethics

In setting out to write this paper, my intention was to fill a gap in my book Animal Liberation. There I argued that the interests of animals ought to be considered equally with our own interests and that from this equality it follows that we ought to become vegetarian. I explicitly avoided taking a position on the wrongness of killing animals, for I wanted the book to reach non-philosophers, and the issue of killing cannot be dealt with briefly and simply.

J. Baird Callicott on Misanthropy

Animal Ethics

The biospheric perspective does not exempt Homo sapiens from moral evaluation in relation to the well-being of the community of nature taken as a whole. If the land ethic were only a means of managing nature for the sake of man, misleadingly phrased in moral terminology, then man would be considered as having an ultimate value essentially different from that of his "resources."

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Michael Fox on Vegetarianism

Animal Ethics

Modern livestock farming on a grand scale also wastes a colossal amount of feed grains on animals which, in times past, would simply have fed off the land. There is no doubt a good deal of truth in this last point as well, and we are here presented with a serious moral problem concerning the world food supply. Michael Fox , "'Animal Liberation': A Critique," Ethics 88 [January 1978]: 106-18, at 116-7

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J. Baird Callicott on Value

Animal Ethics

The value that is attributed to the ecosystem, therefore, is humanly dependent or (allowing that other living things may take a certain delight in the well-being of the whole of things, or that the gods may) at least dependent upon some variety of morally and aesthetically sensitive consciousness. Some suspicion may arise at this point that the land ethic is ultimately grounded in human interests, not in those of nonhuman natural entities.

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Animal Advocates' Successes Have Factory Farmers Running Scared

Animal Ethics

A column entitled "Ag Industry Threatened by Animal Rights" appeared in today's High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal [ HPMAJ ]. The column, which you can read here , is a call to arms to factory farmers to fight back against those individuals and organizations working to protect farm animals from the abuses inherent in factory farms. Recent victories by animal protection advocates have an increasing number of pro-factory-farming lobbyists worried about the future of animal agriculture.

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