A Response to MacClellan

Journal of Animal Ethics 3 (1):69-71 (2013)
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In "Size Matters" in this issue, Joel MacClellan argues for three claims: according to utilitarianism, faced with a choice of eating large or small animals, we should eat the large; utilitarianism may ground obligations to eat meat; and we justifiably attract greater moral responsibility for the "direct" killing of our food animals than we do for "indirect" killing. MacClellan tends to underestimate the resources available even to hedonistic utilitarianism and oversimplifies the conditions in the food industry. His second claim has merit but is merely an instance of utilitarianism’s problem with providing a satisfying account of justice.



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Mark Bernstein
Purdue University

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