04 December 2006

Organic Food

Here is a New York Times editorial opinion about organic fish. The Times argues that the concept of organic food does not apply to wild animals. It is designed to distinguish between two types of farming. Note that this debate is independent of the debate about the moral permissibility of eating fish. If organically raised fish suffer less than nonorganically raised fish, it is an accident, morally speaking. I'm not saying that there is no correlation between an animal being organically raised and it being treated in a morally permissible way; I'm saying that any such correlation is contingent rather than necessary. It's possible, in other words, that some organic methods inflict greater pain on the animals than nonorganic methods. So it would be fallacious to reason as follows: "The flesh I'm eating was organically produced; therefore, it is morally permissible to eat it."

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