Utility-Based Argument Analysis

796 Words 4 Pages
Jordan Curnutt claims that utilitarian based arguments to defend vegetarianism are inadequate. He presents his own argument, NEW, for vegetarianism and exposes flaws in various attempts to override the prima facie duty of not harming animals.
Utilitarian arguments can both favor and oppose vegetarianism. Several philosophers have insisted that utilitarian based arguments require that people eat meat because it improves the economy, helps people who work in the meat industry, and because people enjoy eating meat. Opposing this view, other utilitarian arguments say that vegetarianism is required because killing animals is a violation of their rights and it uses animals as a means to our own ends. The utility-based arguments require that many factors be measured to make a moral decision. Factors such as the number of humans who eat meat and their pleasure and the number of animals killed and their displeasure must be summed and compared. These different arguments regarding vegetarianism are similar in that they use controversial evidence to support their claims, which prevents the argument from being settled (Timmons, 2007, pg. 413). As a result, Curnutt believes that a unique, uncontroversial argument must be developed.
Curnutt presents NEW, his own argument for vegetarianism. NEW does not
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Eating meat is convenient at various social gatherings and restaurants because the high supply of it makes meat a cheap food product. Just because eating meat is convenient does not say anything about its moral standing. It is often convenient to take advantage of a powerless person and inconvenient for a parent to care for their children, however that cannot make such things morally right. Curnutt upholds that just because something is convenient, does not make it morally right, and therefore it cannot be used as grounds to override vegetarianism (Timmons, 2007, pg.

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