On vegetarianism, morality, and science: A counter reply [Book Review]

I recently took issue with Kathryn George's contention that vegetarianism cannot be a moral obligation for most human beings, even assuming that Tom Regan's stringent thesis about the equal inherent value of humans and many sentient nonhumans is correct. I argued that both Regan and George are incorrect in claiming that his view would permit moral agents to kill and eat innocent, non-threatening rights holders. An unequal rights view, by contrast, would permit such actions if a moral agent's health or life is at stake. I then argued that current nutritional research does not support Professor George's claim that some wealthy adult males (and many fewer wealthy women) are the only persons whose health does not require the consumption of nonhuman animals and their products. In her 1992 response to my critique, George did not address my moral argumentation. She concentrated her entire paper on a wholesale rejection of my discussion of nutrition. Although she now takes a somewhat more moderate position on who can safely contemplate strict vegetarianism, she still believes that most people are not in a position to follow such a diet. In my counter-reply, I argue that her rejection is based upon numerous distortions, omissions, and false charges of fallacy. She even devotes a substantial section of her paper to criticizing me for saying the opposite of what I actually wrote. As I did in my earlier paper, I cite current research, including George's own preferred source on the topic of vegetarianism, to support my view. I conclude that Professor George has still not shown that for most human beings it is dangerous to follow a diet that omits nonhuman animals and their products. Moral agents who take the rights of humansand nonhumans seriously will find vegetarianism well worth considering.
Keywords human and nonhuman animal rights  omnivorous diets  nutritional safety  vegetarianism  veganism
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DOI 10.1007/BF01965483
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References found in this work BETA
Tom Regan (2009). The Case for Animal Rights. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Noûs. Oxford University Press. pp. 425-434.
Kathryn Paxton George (1992). The Use and Abuse of Scientific Studies. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 5 (2):217-233.

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Citations of this work BETA
Ann Reed Mangels & Suzanne Havala (1994). Vegan Diets for Women, Infants, and Children. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 7 (1):111-122.
Evelyn Pluhar (1994). Vegetarianism, Morality, and Science Revisited. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 7 (1):77-82.

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