Between the Species 20 (1) (2017)

Andy Lamey
University of California, San Diego
The Moral Complexities of Eating Meat, Ben Bramble and Bob Fischer eds., Oxford University Press, 2015. (An open-access version of this article is available at the link below.) Vegans who do not eat roadkill are immoral. Consider that the most common rationale for veganism is avoiding unnecessary harm to animals. It is a well-known fact that animals are killed in the cultivation of plant foods such as wheat, corn and soybeans. Mice, rabbits and other field creatures are routinely run over by tractors or cut in two by harvesters. To buy commercial plant food therefore is to sustain the system responsible for these deaths. Road-killed animals, by contrast, are already dead, so the decision to consume them does not perpetuate a lethal process. A diet that consists entirely of plant food therefore will be responsible for a greater number of animal fatalities than a mostly-plant diet that also includes roadkill but no other meat. So goes the argument of Donald Bruckner’s cheeky paper, “Strict Vegetarianism is Immoral,” a standout chapter of The Moral Complexities of Eating Meat. Anyone who follows the animal ethics literature will be familiar with defences of meat eating premised on a rejection of animal rights. Bruckner’s ingenious argument by contrast is premised on animals having rights. This captures something of the collection in general, which offers original moves and thought-provoking conclusions with impressive frequency.
Keywords animal rights  vegetarianism  veganism  inefficacy objection
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Utilitarianism: For and Against.J. J. C. Smart & Bernard Williams - 1973 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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