Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):177-200 (2013)

Loren Lomasky
University of Virginia
Eating meat appeals, but the cost is measured in millions of slaughtered animals. This has convinced many that vegetarianism is morally superior to a carnivorous diet. Increasingly, those who take pleasure in consuming animals find it a guilty pleasure. Are they correct? That depends on the magnitude of harm done to food animals but also on what sort of a good, if any, meat eating affords people. This essay aims to estimate both variables and concludes that standard arguments for moral vegetarianism are significantly misplaced. That is because the contribution of meat eating to lives of excellence is underestimated and overall harms to animals consequent on practices of meat eating are overestimated. The answer to the question posed in the title is, therefore, "No."
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.1017/s0265052513000083
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,464
External links

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

Animal Liberation.Bill Puka & Peter Singer - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (4):557.
Liberalism Beyond Borders.Loren E. Lomasky - 2007 - Social Philosophy and Policy 24 (1):206-233.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Veganism and Children: Physical and Social Well-Being.Marcus William Hunt - 2019 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 32 (2):269-291.
Our Moral Duty to Eat Meat.Nick Zangwill - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (3):295-311.
Moral Vegetarianism.Tyler Doggett - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 20 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

On Eating Animals: Michael B. Gill.Michael B. Gill - 2013 - Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):201-207.
Vegetarianism, Traditional Morality, and Moral Conservatism.David Detmer - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32 (Supplement):39-48.
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.
Five Arguments for Vegetarianism.William O. Stephens - 1994 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 1 (4):25-39.
Why We Should Be Vegetarians.Michael Allen Fox - 2006 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (2):295-310.
Moral Vegetarianism From a Very Broad Basis.David DeGrazia - 2009 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (2):143-165.
The Moral Footprint of Animal Products.Krzysztof Saja - 2013 - Agriculture and Human Values 30 (2):193–202.
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.
'Animals Do It Too!': The Franklin Defence of Meat-Eating.E. Tefler - 2004 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 1 (1):51-67.


Added to PP index

Total views
430 ( #23,048 of 2,520,771 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
33 ( #26,534 of 2,520,771 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes