Vegetarianism, Traditional Morality, and Moral Conservatism

Journal of Philosophical Research 32 (9999):39-48 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX


“Moral vegetarianism,” the doctrine that it is immoral to eat meat, is widely dismissed as eccentric. But I argue that moral vegetarianism is thoroughly conservative—it follows directly from two basic moral principles that nearly everyone already accepts. One is that it is morally wrong to cause unnecessary pain. The other is that if it is wrong in one case to do X, then it will also be wrong to do so in another, unless the two cases differ in some morally relevant respect. Since everyone agrees that it is wrong to kill humans for food,this principle entails that defenders of meat eating must find some morally relevant difference between eating humans and eating other animals if they are to justify their practice. I argue that this burden cannot be met. Finally, I offer four arguments against the claim that the moral permissibility of eating meat is intuitively evident.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 84,179

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Five Arguments for Vegetarianism.William O. Stephens - 1994 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 1 (4):25-39.
The moral footprint of animal products.Krzysztof Saja - 2013 - Agriculture and Human Values 30 (2):193–202.
Moderation, morals, and meat.Frederick Ferré - 1986 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 29 (1-4):391-406.
Who can be morally obligated to be a vegetarian?Evelyn Pluhar - 1992 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 5 (2):189-215.
The puzzle of pure moral deference.Sarah McGrath - 2009 - Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):321-344.
The unjustified-suffering argument for vegetarianism.Simon R. Clarke - 2009 - In Raymond Aaron Younis (ed.), On the Ethical Life. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 57-67.
A Catholic Case for Vegetarianism.Andrew Tardiff - 1998 - Faith and Philosophy 15 (2):210-222.
Eating Meat and Reading Diamond.Andrew Gleeson - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (1):157-175.


Added to PP

94 (#149,314)

6 months
1 (#510,113)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Moral Vegetarianism vs. Moral Omnivorism.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Human Affairs 27 (3):289-300.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references