David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Social Philosophy 38 (2):331–348 (2007)
One of the starting assumptions in the debate over the ethical status of animals is that someone who is committed to reducing animal suffering should not eat meat. Steven Davis has recently advanced a novel criticism of this view. He argues that individuals who are committed to reducing animal suffering should not adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet, as Tom Regan an other animal rights advocates claim, but one containing free-range beef. To make his case Davis highlights an overlooked form of animal harm, that done to field animals in crop production. Yet while Davis's argument is ingenious and thought-provoking, it is not a successful challenge to vegetarianism and veganism's status as the diets that most advance animal rights. Scientific studies of crop production that Davis draws on document two different forms of harm done to field animals: those that are directly killed by harvesting equipment and those that are killed by other animals. Once this distinction is made explicit, the degree to which such studies pose a problem for animal protection theory considerably weakens. Davis also overlooks philosophically significant forms of harm to human beings that are present in beef production but not crop harvesting. Finally, he bases his argument on the controversial assumption that there is no difference between deliberate and accidental killing - either of animals or people. Although these problems defeat Davis's attempt to offer an immanent critique of Regan's animal rights position, his analysis does have important dietary ramifications that animal advocates should take into account.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Jan Deckers (2009). Vegetarianism, Sentimental or Ethical? Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 22 (6):573-597.
Christopher Ciocchetti (2012). Veganism and Living Well. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (3):405-417.
David Fraser (2012). A “Practical” Ethic for Animals. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (5):721-746.
Rob Irvine (2013). Food Ethics: Issues of Consumption and Production. [REVIEW] Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (2):145-148.
Similar books and articles
David J. Mellor (2009). The Sciences of Animal Welfare. Wiley-Blackwell.
Mark Rowlands (1998). Animal Rights: A Philosophical Defence. St. Martin's Press.
Tom Regan (2009). The Case for Animal Rights. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Ethics: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Elisa Aaltola (2010). The Anthropocentric Paradigm and the Posibility of Animal Ethics. Ethics and the Environment 15 (1):pp. 27-50.
Kelly Oliver (2010). Animal Ethics: Toward an Ethics of Responsiveness. Research in Phenomenology 40 (2):267-280.
Steven L. Davis (2003). The Least Harm Principle May Require That Humans Consume a Diet Containing Large Herbivores, Not a Vegan Diet. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 16 (4):387-394.
Mark Rowlands (2009). Animal Rights: Moral Theory and Practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
Claire Molloy (2011). Popular Media and Animals. Palgrave Macmillan.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads66 ( #21,068 of 1,096,714 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #24,821 of 1,096,714 )
How can I increase my downloads?