Bioethics 35 (2):135-142 (2021)

Ben Jones
Pennsylvania State University
The devastating impact of the COVID‐19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is prompting renewed scrutiny of practices that heighten the risk of infectious disease. One such practice is refusing available vaccines known to be effective at preventing dangerous communicable diseases. For reasons of preventing individual harm, avoiding complicity in collective harm, and fairness, there is a growing consensus among ethicists that individuals have a duty to get vaccinated. I argue that these same grounds establish an analogous duty to avoid buying and eating most meat sold today, based solely on a concern for human welfare. Meat consumption is a leading driver of infectious disease. Wildlife sales at wet markets, bushmeat hunting, and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are all exceptionally risky activities that facilitate disease spread and impose immense harms on human populations. If there is a moral duty to vaccinate, we also should recognize a moral duty to avoid most meat. The paper concludes by considering the implications of this duty for policy.
Keywords COVID-19  farming  infectious disease  meat  vaccine  vegetarian  zoonotic
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DOI 10.1111/bioe.12834
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References found in this work BETA

Resisting Moral Permissiveness About Vaccine Refusal.Mark Navin - 2013 - Public Affairs Quarterly 27 (1):69-85.
Obligatory Precautions Against Infection.Marcel Verweij - 2005 - Bioethics 19 (4):323–335.

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Citations of this work BETA

Epidemics and Food Security: The Duties of Local and International Communities.Angela K. Martin - 2021 - In Hanna Schübel & Ivo Wallimann-Helmer (eds.), Justice and food security in a changing climate. Wageningen, Niederlande: Wageningen Academic Publishers. pp. 408-413.

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