- During the past four decades, four questions have shaped the debate over eating meat:
- What hurts the most?
- Are animal lovers nature haters?
- Are vegetarians bigots?
- Do animals have rights?
- The following conclusions are advocated:
- Where general welfare is the issue, numbers count, and they will always count against a small minority profiting by repeatedly exploiting the majority. However, how most effectively to respond to this injustice is not obvious.
- Despite disagreements about the relationship between biology and morals, vegetarians and environmentalists agree that factory farming is immoral because of what it does either to suffering animals or to the natural order.
- Whether humans using animals for food can be a respectful relation — especially when we humans make all the decisions — is the real question here. So far, this extension of fairness beyond our own species is one for which we have shown little capacity.
- Whether or not animals have “rights,” morally concerned Westerners should not partake of factory-farmed products and should work for the abolition of such farms.
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