Veganism and Living Well

Authors
Christopher Ciocchetti
Centenary College of Louisiana
Abstract
I argue that many philosophical arguments for veganism underestimate what is at stake for humans who give up eating animal products. By saying all that’s at stake for humans is taste and characterizing taste in simplistic terms, they underestimate the reasonable resistance that arguments for veganism will meet. Taste, they believe, is trivial. Omnivores, particular those that I label meaningful omnivores, disagree. They believe that eating meat provides a more meaningful meal, though just how this works proves elusive. Meaningful omnivores could find little in the philosophical literature to help them clarify and support their position until recently. A few philosophers have argued that our culinary practices involve something more significant than taste. I categorize these arguments into three kinds. They either argue that culinary practices are a form of artistic achievement, that our diet forms part of our identity, or that a specific diet facilitates honest engagement with the world. Each of these arguments connects some aspect of our culinary practices to living a meaningful life. I examine each argument to see if it can defend the meaningful omnivore’s position. In the end, I conclude that it cannot. Nonetheless, this argument has significant implications for the animal welfare movement. Given the intense suffering caused by contemporary animal agriculture, concern for meaning is not sufficient to justify eating meat and often dairy. Concern for meaning does, however, require that we look for ways to preserve and extend culinary traditions while making them more humane.
Keywords Vegetarianism  Fine arts  Aesthetics  Identity  Nature
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9307-5
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,035
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Ethics of Identity.Kwame Anthony Appiah - 2006 - Philosophy 81 (317):539-542.
Moral Vegetarianism From a Very Broad Basis.David DeGrazia - 2009 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (2):143-165.
Vegetarian Meat: Could Technology Save Animals and Satisfy Meat Eaters?Patrick D. Hopkins & Austin Dacey - 2008 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 21 (6):579-596.
Making Sense of Taste: Food and Philosophy.Carolyn Korsmeyer - 2001 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 59 (4):421-423.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Death-Free Dairy? The Ethics of Clean Milk.Josh Milburn - 2018 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 31 (2):261-279.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Moral Footprint of Animal Products.Krzysztof Saja - 2013 - Agriculture and Human Values 30 (2):193–202.
Living Toward the Peaceable Kingdom: Compassionate Eating as Care of Creation.Matthew C. Halteman - 2008, 2010 - Humane Society of the United States Faith Outreach.
Moderation, Morals, and Meat.Frederick Ferré - 1986 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 29 (1-4):391-406.
Food Fight! Davis Versus Regan on the Ethics of Eating Beef.Andy Lamey - 2007 - Journal of Social Philosophy 38 (2):331–348.
Vegetarianism, Traditional Morality, and Moral Conservatism.David Detmer - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32 (Supplement):39-48.
Is Eating Locally a Moral Obligation?Gregory R. Peterson - 2013 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (2):421-437.
So Animal a Human ..., Or the Moral Relevance of Being an Omnivore.Kathryn Paxton George - 1990 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 3 (2):172-186.
Picky Eating is a Moral Failing.Matthew J. Brown - 2007 - In Dave Monroe & Fritz Allhoff (eds.), Food & Philosophy: Eat, Think, and Be Merry. Blackwell.
A Modest Proposal.Richard Hanley - 2004 - Public Affairs Quarterly 18 (1):1-12.
Permissible Use and Interdependence: Against Principled Veganism.Katherine Wayne - 2013 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 30 (2):160-175.
Discrimination and Bias in the Vegan Ideal.Kathryn Paxton George - 1994 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 7 (1):19-28.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-12-22

Total views
130 ( #49,871 of 2,312,699 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
15 ( #36,592 of 2,312,699 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature