None of the foregoing is about consumption. The moral vegetarian arguments thus far have, at most, established that it is wrong to produce meat in various ways. Assuming that some such argument is sound, how to get from the wrongness of producing meat to the wrongness of consuming that meat? This question is not always taken seriously. Classics of the moral vegetarian literature like Singer , Regan , Engel , and DeGrazia do not give much space to it. Adams is a rare canonical vegetarian text that devotes considerable space to consumption ethics.
James Rachels writes,. Sometimes philosophers explain that [my argument for vegetarianism] is unconvincing because it contains a logical gap. We are all opposed to cruelty, they say, but it does not follow that we must become vegetarians. It only follows that we should favor less cruel methods of meat production.
This objection is so feeble it is hard to believe it explains resistance to the basic argument [for vegetarianism]. Yet if the objection is that it does not follow from the wrongness of producing meat that consuming meat is wrong, then the objection is not feeble and is clearly correct. In order to validly derive the vegetarian conclusion, additional premises are needed. Rachels, it turns out, has some, so perhaps it is best to interpret his complaint as that it is obvious what the premises are. Maybe so.
But there is quite a bit of disagreement about what those additional premises are and plausible candidates differ greatly from one another. Consider a productivist idea about the connection between production and consumption according to which consumption of wrongfully-produced goods is wrong because it produces more wrongful production. The idea issues an argument that, in outline, is:. Consuming some product P is reasonably expected to produce production of Q.
The moral vegetarian might then argue that meat is among the values of both P and Q : consuming meat is reasonably expect to produce production of meat. Or the moral vegetarian might argue that consuming meat produces more normalization of bad attitudes towards animals and that is wrong. There are various possibilities. Just consider the first, the one about meat consumption producing meat production.
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It is most plausible with regard to buying. It is buying the wrongfully-produced good that produces more of it. Eating meat produces more production, if it does, by producing more buying. When Grandma buys the wrongfully produced delicacy, the idea goes, she produces more wrongdoing. The company she buys from produces more goods whether you eat the delicacy or throw it out. These arguments hinge on an empirical claim about production and a moral claim about the wrongfulness of producing wrongdoing.
The moral claim has far-reaching implications DeGrazia and Warfield Consider this rent case:. You pay rent to a landlord. You know that he takes your rent and uses the money to buy wrongfully-produced meat. If buying wrongfully-produced meat is wrong because it produces more wrongfully-produced meat, is it wrong to pay rent in the rent case? Is it wrong to buy a vegetarian meal at a restaurant that then takes your money and uses it to buy wrongfully-produced steak?
There are further, familiar questions about whether it is wrong to produce wrongdoing when one neither intends to nor foresees it and whether it is wrong to produce wrongdoing when one does not intend it but does foresee it and then about whether what is wrong is producing wrongdoing or, rather, simply producing a bad effect see entries on the doctrine of double effect and doing vs.
An objection to productivist arguments denies the empirical claim and, instead, accepting that because the food system is so enormous, fed by so many consumers, and so stuffed with money, our eating or buying typically has no effect on production, neither directly nor even, through influencing others, indirectly Budolfson ; Nefsky Moreover, the idea goes, one should reasonably expect this. Whether or not this is a good account of how food consumption typically works, it is an account of a possible system.
Consider the Chef in Shackles case, a modification of a case in McPherson Alma runs Chef in Shackles, a restaurant at which the chef is known to be held against his will. In fact, Alma just burns the money that comes in. The enslaved chef is superb; the food is delicious. The productivist idea does not imply it is wrong to buy food from or eat at Chef in Shackles.
If that is wrong, a different idea needs to explain its wrongness. This idea can explain why it is wrong to eat at Chef in Shackles—when you enjoy a delicious meal there, you benefit from the wrongful captivity of the chef. In outline, the extractivist argument is:. Moral vegetarians would then urge that meat is among the values of P. Unlike the productivist argument, this one is more plausible with regard to eating than buying.
Unlike the productivist argument, it does not seem to have any trouble explaining what is wrong in the Chef in Shackles case. Like the productivist argument, the extractivist argument hinges on an empirical claim about consumer benefits and a moral claim about the ethics of so benefiting.
The notion of benefiting, however, is obscure. Imagine you go to Chef in Shackles, have a truly repulsive meal, and become violently ill afterwards. Have you benefit ted from wrongdoing? If not, the extractivist idea cannot explain what is wrong with going to the restaurant. A terrorist bomb grievously injures Bob and Cece.
They attend a support group for victims, fall in love, and live happily ever after, leaving them significantly better off than they were before the attack. Bob and Cece seem to benefit from wrongdoing but seem not to be doing anything wrong by being together. Whereas the productivist struggles to explain why it is wrong to patronize Chef in Shackles, the extractivist struggles to explain why it is permissible for Bob and Cece to benefit from wrongdoing.
A participatory idea has no trouble with the terror-love case.
- Schrei aus der Ferne: Kriminalroman (German Edition).
- Eating animals.
- The Vegetarian Empire.
- On this page.
- Feeding before Moral!.
- The Benefit in the Struggle.
Bob and Cece do not participate in terror, so the idea does not imply they do wrong. The idea issues an argument that, in outline, goes:. Unlike the productivist or extractivist ideas, the participatory idea seems to as easily cover buying and eating for each is plausibly a form of participating in wrongdoing. Unlike the productivist idea, it has no trouble explaining why it is wrong to patronize Chef in Shackles and does not imply it is wrong to pay rent to a landlord who buys wrongfully-produced meat. Unlike the extractivist idea, whether or not you get food poisoning at Chef in Shackles has no moral importance to it.
Unlike the extractivist idea, the participatory idea does not falsely imply that the Bob and Cece do wrong in benefiting from wrongdoing—after all, their failing in love is not a way of participating in wrongdoing.
Yet it is not entirely clear what it is to participate in wrongdoing. Consider the Jains who commit themselves to lives without himsa violence. Food production causes himsa. So Jains try to avoid eating many plants, uprooted to be eaten, and even drinking untreated water, filled with microorganisms, to minimize lives taken. Yet Jaina monastics are supported by Jaina laypersons. He kills no animals but receives alms, including meat, from a layperson.
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Is the monastic participating in violence? Is he part of a group that together does wrong Parfit Chapter 3? When Darryl refuses to buy wrongfully-produced meat but does no political work with regard to ending its production is he party to the wrongful production? Does he participate in it or cooperate with its production? Is he a member of a group that does wrong? If so, what are the principles of group selection?
As a matter of contingent fact, failing to politically protest meat exhibits no objectionable attitudes in contemporary US society. Adams ; Hill Hurka argues that virtue requires exhibiting the right attitude towards good or evil, and so if consuming exhibits an attitude towards production, it is plausible that eating wrongfully produced foods exhibits the wrong attitude towards them.
These are all attitudinal ideas about consumption. They might issue in an argument like this:. Like the participatory idea, the attitudinal idea explains the wrongness of eating and buying various goods—both are ways of exhibiting attitudes.