20 December 2005

Peter Singer on the Vegetarian Movement

It might be said that the best solution would be neither the perpetuation of factory farming nor its sudden abolition, but a gradual phasing out which would allow the industry to be wound down in an orderly fashion. But this is likely to happen in any case. I have no illusions about seeing vegetarianism sweep America overnight. If the vegetarian movement succeeds at all, it will succeed gradually enough for factory farming to be phased out over many years. On utilitarian grounds, this is what we want.

(Peter Singer, “Utilitarianism and Vegetarianism,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 9 [summer 1980]: 325-37, at 334)

14 December 2005

The Vegan Family Cookbook

If you're interested in trying vegan cuisine, see here. Remember: It's not all or nothing. There's such a thing as cutting back on the amount of animal products one consumes. The animals you don't eat will thank you!

07 December 2005

Animal Rights

Khursh Mian Acevedo sent a link to this page of quotations.

06 December 2005

Peter Singer on Utilitarianism and Vegetarianism

There are three ways in which a utilitarian condemnation of the treatment of farm animals might fall short of entailing that we should switch to a vegetarian diet. Firstly, if the objection is not to all raising and killing of animals for food, but only to particular methods of raising and killing them, it would seem that we can avoid the necessity of vegetarianism by restricting our diet to the flesh of animals not reared or killed by methods involving suffering. Secondly, one might argue that, bad as factory farming is, the consequences of abolishing it are not clearly better than the consequences of continuing it. And thirdly, those who admit that it would be better if factory farming were abolished may deny that there is any utilitarian connection between this conclusion and the obligation to avoid consuming the products of factory farms.

(Peter Singer, “Utilitarianism and Vegetarianism,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 9 [summer 1980]: 325-37, at 331)

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re "For Environmental Balance, Pick Up a Rifle," by Nicholas D. Kristof (column, Dec. 4):

Yes, deer overpopulation is a serious problem in parts of our country. But the correct solution in the short term includes the development and employment of birth-control techniques for deer. In the long term, the correct solution includes re-establishing ecological balance through the reintroduction of the predators that we hunted into local extinction.

Mr. Kristof defends hunting by calling it "natural," but not all "natural" activities (making war, for example) are morally acceptable.

The factors that make it generally immoral to kill a human are the same factors that make it generally wrong to kill a deer: making a sentient creature suffer and, more important, taking from that creature the thing that is of greatest value to it, the remainder of its life.

Hunting is not wrong where the practice is essential to maintaining human life. But it is wrong to hunt in the United States in the 21st century.

Howard Pospesel
Grand Island, Fla., Dec. 4, 2005

03 December 2005

Vegan 4U

Here is a site that contains links about veganism.

02 December 2005

Vegetarian Diets

One of my readers asked me for information about vegetarian diets. While researching the matter, I found this. I thought I'd share it with everyone.