Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 7 (1) (1994)
|Abstract||The vegan ideal is entailed by arguments for ethical veganism based on traditional moral theory (rights and/or utilitarianism) extended to animals. The most ideal lifestyle would abjure the use of animals or their products for food since animals suffer and have rights not to be killed. The ideal is discriminatory because the arguments presuppose a male physiological norm that gives a privileged position to adult, middle-class males living in industrialized countries. Women, children, the aged, and others have substantially different nutritional requirements and would bear a greater burden on vegetarian and vegan diets with respect to health and economic risks, than do these males. The poor and many persons in Third World nations live in circumstances that make the obligatory adoption of such diets, where they are not already a matter of sheer necessity, even more risky.Traditional moral theorists (such as Evelyn Pluhar and Gary Varner whose essays appear in this issue) argue that those who are at risk would beexcused from a duty to attain the virtue associated with ethical vegan lifestyles. The routine excuse of nearly everyone in the world besides adult, middle-class males in industrialized countries suggests bias in the perspective from which traditional arguments for animal rights and (utilitarian) animal welfare are formulated.|
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