Who can be morally obligated to be a vegetarian?

Abstract
Kathryn Paxton George has recently argued that vegetarianism cannot be a moral obligation for most human beings, even if Tom Regan is correct in arguing that humans and certain nonhuman animals are equally inherently valuable. She holds that Regan's liberty principle permits humans to kill and eat innocent others who have a right to life, provided that doing so prevents humans from being made worse off. George maintains that obstaining from meat and dairy products would in fact make most humans worse off. I argue that Regan's liberty principle either contradicts his equal rights view or does not permit the slaughter of another for food. I show that a different view recognizing the moral rights of nonhumans but according them less value than normal adult humans, the unequal rights view, would permit such action if human survival or health depended upon it. However, it would also permit the slaughter of innocent humans in the same circumstances. Finally, I argue that current nutritional research does not support George's contention that most humans would suffer if they ceased eating other animals and their products.
Keywords Equal rights view  liberty principle  nutrition  unequal rights view  vegetarianism  strict vegetarianism
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DOI 10.1007/BF01966360
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References found in this work BETA
Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1990 - Avon Books.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Noûs. Oxford University Press. pp. 425-434.
When is It Morally Acceptable to Kill Animals?Evelyn B. Pluhar - 1988 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 1 (3):211-224.
On the Moral Acceptability of Killing Animals.Hugh Lehman - 1988 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 1 (2):155-162.

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Citations of this work BETA
Discrimination and Bias in the Vegan Ideal.Kathryn Paxton George - 1994 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 7 (1):19-28.
The Use and Abuse of Scientific Studies.Kathryn Paxton George - 1992 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 5 (2):217-233.
Use and Abuse Revisited: Response to Pluhar and Varner. [REVIEW]Kathryn Paxton George - 1994 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 7 (1):41-76.
Vegetarianism, Morality, and Science Revisited.Evelyn Pluhar - 1994 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 7 (1):77-82.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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On Vegetarianism, Morality, and Science: A Counter Reply. [REVIEW]Evelyn B. Pluhar - 1993 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 6 (2):185-213.

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