A Rawlsian Pro-Life Argument against Vegetarianism

International Philosophical Quarterly 53 (1):63-71 (2013)
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Abstract

Animal rights and vegetarianism for ethical reasons are positions gaining in influence in contemporary American culture. Although I think that certain rights for animals are consistent with and even entailed by the Catholic understanding of morality, vegetarianism is not. There is a plausible argument for an omnivorous diet from a Rawlsian original position. It is in direct contradiction to the Rawlsian-influenced ethical vegetarianism espoused by Mark Rowlands. Vegetarianism is not the moral high ground: ethical vegetarianism is in fact contrary to a position on animals that is fundamentally pro-life.

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John Zeis
Canisius College

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