ABSTRACT: In this paper I propose to answer the age-old reductio against vegetarianism, which is usually presented in the form of a sarcastic question ( e.g., "How do you justify killing and eating plants?"). Addressing the question takes on special significance in the light of arguments which seem to show that even nonsentient life is intrinsically valuable. Thus, I suggest that we rephrase the question in the following manner: When beings (who are biological and thus dependent on the destruction of other forms of life in order to sustain their own) evolve into societies of moral agents are they entitled merely to assume that they retain their license to destroy other life in order to sustain their own? I answer in the negative. I argue that such societies must continually earn that right by engaging in activity that makes up for and augments the values that they destroy. Unlike other biological beings, humans have complete control over what they eat, whether they eat, and whether they reproduce. Hence, the appeals to necessity that are ubiquitous in justifications of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets are inauthentic and must be accordingly forsaken. We will have to appeal instead to the value of particular human activities that are fueled by our consumption of other lives.
'So you don't eat animals, but you do eat plants. Plants, like animals, are living things how do you justify killing and eating them?'
The mock indignation and air of self-congratulation which invariably accompany this question make it plain that the speaker does not expect the requested information but rather believes that he or she has delivered an original and decisive reductio ad absurdum against vegetariani...
... middle of paper ...
...sort of axiology that last-person arguments are meant to establish. All creatures imaginable are valued and are attributed with at least one sense, from human beings (five-sensed) to leeches (two-sensed) to clods of earth (one-sensed). Any intentional act of violence against any of these is considered sinful, even an act done for a good cause (e.g., to feed human beings). It is odd, then, that Jainism is merely dismissed in environmentalist literature (Nash 1989, 70; Kalupahana 1989, 248; Curtin 1992, 141 n. 12).
(3) My complaint here is against the deliberate ascetic. When people lead meager lives on the edge of physical exhaustion and starvation because of the inequities of economic distribution, it is not they but their oppressors who do an injustice to the environment, using the latter to fill their bellies and their wallets through acts of social injustice.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Argument For Vegetarianism Every day across America millions of people wake up to start their morning. Throughout the day the vast majority of these people will consume meat, but 3% will replace the pig, cow, and chicken products for vegetable or fruit made meals (Harris). These vegetarians all have many different reasons to make this choice. This decision is a huge change in one’s life and is not without questions. Some people may wonder why would anyone abstain from the amazing food that contains meat.... [tags: Vegetarianism, Meat, Veganism, Nutrition, Ahimsa]
1324 words (3.8 pages)
- A prominent recent controversy is the argument between vegetarianism and omnivorism. Vegetarians are those who do not eat meat (Merriam-Webster, n.d.), and omnivores consume both meat and vegetables as part of their diet (Oxford English Dictionary, n.d.). The debate is heated and passionate, with different opinions for both sides. Leo Tolstoy (1886) once said, “a man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite”.... [tags: Meat, Agriculture, Vegetarianism]
1617 words (4.6 pages)
- I. Thesis & Definition The purpose of this paper is to investigate the trend of vegetarianism and its steady increase in popularity in the United States, the possible causes behind the existence of this trend, its effects on our general society and the practicing population, and finally, the future of vegetarianism. For the purpose of this paper vegetarianism is described as a plant-based diet (fruits, vegetables, etc), though the most important factor being the total exclusion of meat, not including fish for most practitioners.... [tags: Vegetarianism Research Paper]
2224 words (6.4 pages)
- Imagine puppies, cute innocent puppies all of different breeds and sizes. Now, imagine seventy puppies all cramped together in the same small cage. A worker comes in and beats any puppies that are not fully corporative, this probably seems horrific mostly because it is. The truth is, this happens to pigs every single day in slaughter houses, but it is still considered acceptable to eat as much bacon as humanly possible. This is one reason why eaters convert to vegetarianism, because they feel like treating living things in such a manner is completely unacceptable, no matter if the animal is a pig or a puppy.... [tags: Meat, Vegetarianism, Slaughterhouse]
1324 words (3.8 pages)
- Americans today tend to believe that vegetarianism is America’s future,due to how it is constantly viewed in the media as glamorous and trendy. Conventional wisdom has it that one must consume meat or poultry to meet the United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate program nutritional standard needs in a well balanced diet. The United States most common meal is presumed to be fast food which most commonly includes a lot of meat. Some meat consumers may not consider the fact that cattle is raised solely for the purpose of it being consumed thus resulting in harm for the environment.... [tags: Nutrition, Meat, Vegetarianism, Veganism]
1059 words (3 pages)
- Argument Against Eating Meat Many people don’t believe think anything of what they eat or how it got there. But the harsh truth is the meat that you eat was once a living, breathing creature that had feeling and emotions. Maybe next time you order a steak or chicken nuggets you should think about the animals that went through extreme pain and conditions for you to eat. Not only is it inhumane to put animals through such pain, not eating meat and having a vegetarian lifestyle can have huge benefits to animals, the environment, and your health.... [tags: Vegetarianism, Persuasive, Argumentative]
436 words (1.2 pages)
- Simplifying the Case for Vegetarianism is an article written by Andrew Tardiff as part of the academic journal Social Theory and Practice; published by Florida State University, Department of Philosophy in 1996. Tardiff was a part of the department of philosophy at Rhode Island College and wrote other articles, including A Catholic Case for Vegetarianism and Vegetarianism Virtue: Does Consequentialism Demand Too Little. In the article, Tardiff begins by referencing Tom Reagan in his book The Case for Animal Rights, that there are five qualifications of an acceptable moral theory, including “Consistency, scope, precision, conformity to reflective intuition, and simplicity.” He then goes on to... [tags: Morality, Ethics, Meat, Logic]
1081 words (3.1 pages)
- Vegetarianism Vegetarianism is not just some crazy fad anymore. After considerable deliberation I decided that eating meant just didn’t fit in with my values. More and more it is becoming not only a healthy alternative to the traditional meat and potato diet, but it is also a way to become more aware of environmental and animal welfare. Some people believe that a vegetarian diet is pointless and unhealthy; it is actually a very ethical and healthy alternative to the typical American diet. It seems to me that people today need to learn some basic biology.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
923 words (2.6 pages)
- Vegetarianism Eating is a staple of life. In every culture, food customs and variety are part of that cultures definition. In American society and other cultures, meat is a main food that is consumed, yet not by everyone. Dating back to medieval times, some meats were not consumed due to the "impurities" they were seen to be by the religions of the time. Throughout history, this has developed from not eating red meat, to not eating any meat at all, and even further to the vegan extreme of not eating any animal products at all.... [tags: Healthy Lifestyle Essay]
1829 words (5.2 pages)
- Vegetarianism Vegetarianism is the limitation of ones diet to only vegetables. Vegetarianism has been around for centuries, but recently we have seen the eruption of a more militant vegetarianism that is inspired by the animal "rights" movement. Today, vegetarian activists are throwing pies at Ronald McDonald and the Pork Queen, scrawling "meat is murder" in prominent locations, committing terrorist acts of arson, and waging media campaigns equating meat consumption with cannibalism. Vegetarians are, on the average, far healthier than those who consume the typical Western diet, and enjoy a lower incidence of many chronic diseases.... [tags: Healthy Lifestyle Essay]
637 words (1.8 pages)
- Environmental Justice: Some Ecofeminist Worries About A Distributive Model
- Case-Based Environmental Ethics
- Tracing Sexual Difference: Beyond the Aporia of the Other
- Classical Greek Philosophical Paideia in Light of the Postmodern Occidentalism of Jacques Derrida
- La paideia homosexuelle: Foucault, Platon et Aristote
- Nietzsche y el Cristianismo