The Consequences of Individual Consumption: A Defence of Threshold Arguments for Vegetarianism and Consumer Ethics
Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (4):396-411 (2011)
AbstractAs a moral foundation for vegetarianism and other consumer choices, act consequentialism can be appealing. When we justify our consumer and dietary choices this way, however, we face the problem that our individual actions rarely actually precipitate more just agricultural and economic practices. This threshold or individual impotence problem engaged by consequentialist vegetarians and their critics extends to morally motivated consumer decision-making more generally, anywhere a lag persists between individual moral actions taken and systemic moral progress made. Regan and others press just this point against Singer's utilitarian basis for vegetarianism; recently Chartier criticizes act-consequentialist vegetarianism by identifying many factors weakening the connection between individual meat purchases and changes in animal production. While such factors are relevant to act-consequentialist moral reasoning, I argue, they need not defeat the act-consequentialist case for vegetarianism and consumer ethics. This is shown by offering a probabilistic account of the threshold issue and discussing the positive and negative role-modelling effects of our morally motivated dietary and consumer choices
Similar books and articles
Consuming Choices: Ethics in a Global Consumer Age.David T. Schwartz - 2010 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Vegetarianism, Traditional Morality, and Moral Conservatism.David Detmer - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32 (9999):39-48.
Five Arguments for Vegetarianism.William O. Stephens - 1994 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 1 (4):25-39.
How to Create the Ethical Consumer.Judith Schrempf & Guido Palazzo - 2011 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 22:532-543.
On the threshold argument against consumer meat purchases.Gary Chartier - 2005 - Journal of Social Philosophy 37 (2):233–249.
Consumer ethics: An assessment of individual behavior in the market place. [REVIEW]Sam Fullerton, Kathleen B. Kerch & H. Robert Dodge - 1996 - Journal of Business Ethics 15 (7):805 - 814.
Articulating the Meanings of Collective Experiences of Ethical Consumption.Eleni Papaoikonomou, Mireia Valverde & Gerard Ryan - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 110 (1):15-32.
The Virtue of Simplicity.Joshua Colt Gambrel & Philip Cafaro - 2009 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (1-2):85-108.
Ethics and Action: A Relational Perspective on Consumer Choice in the European Politics of Food. [REVIEW]Unni Kjærnes - 2012 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (2):145-162.
An Experiential Exercise that Introduces the Concept of the Personal Ethical Threshold to Develop Moral Courage.Debra R. Comer & Gina Vega - 2005 - Journal of Business Ethics Education 2 (2):171-197.
The moral footprint of animal products.Krzysztof Saja - 2013 - Agriculture and Human Values 30 (2):193–202.
The Joint Moderating Impact of Moral Intensity and Moral Judgment on Consumer’s Use Intention of Pirated Software.Mei-Fang Chen, Ching-Ti Pan & Ming-Chuan Pan - 2009 - Journal of Business Ethics 90 (3):361 - 373.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
Industrial Farm Animal Production: A Comprehensive Moral Critique.John Rossi & Samual A. Garner - 2014 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 27 (3):479-522.
Is there a convincing case for climate veganism?Teea Kortetmäki & Markku Oksanen - 2021 - Agriculture and Human Values 38 (3):729-740.
Individual Responsibility, Large-Scale Harms, and Radical Uncertainty.Rekha Nath - 2021 - The Journal of Ethics 25 (3):267-291.
Kollektivierungspflichten und ethischer Konsum.Henning Hahn - 2017 - Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie 4 (1):183-210.
References found in this work
No references found.