Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 12 (2):185-196 (2000)
|Abstract||Animal husbandry has been accused ofmaltreating animals, polluting the environment, and soon. These accusations were thought to be answered whenthe Dutch research program ``Sustainable TechnologicalDevelopment'' (STD) suggested a government-initiatedconversion from meat to novel protein foods (NPFs).STD reasoned that if consumers converted from meat toNPFs, non-sustainable animal husbandry would no longerbe needed. Whereas STD only worried about how toconstruct NPFs with a meat bite, this paper drawsattention to the presumed, but problematic, role forthe government in the execution of the STDsuggestions. Although vegetarians take the credo ``YouAre What You Eat'' literally and accuse non-vegetariansof being beasts, a different interpretation is morepromising: eating meat has become a leading thread inmany lifestyles and narratives of self-identity. Sincethe freedom to follow your own lifestyle orconsumptive preferences is a core value incontemporary affluent societies, governmentintervention in the formation and satisfaction ofconsumer preferences for meat dishes is a precariousissue. Hence, NPFs might be interesting for a smallfraction of society, but we had better not expect toomuch from a government-initiated conversion from meatto NPFs as the answer to animal husbandry'sproblems|
|Keywords||Anti-Perfectionism freedom meat consumption novel protein foods self-identity|
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