Consumption Of Meat Analysis

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The purpose of this paper is to discuss the morality of the consumption of meat as it contributes to the suffering, harm, and exploitation of non-human animals. The question of morality is not one that considers whether or not non-human animals have moral status, but is a question of how our moral status as human beings should be applied to the treatment of non-human animals. In Peter Singer’s “A Vegetarian Philosophy,” he argues that the link between the consumption of meat by individuals is directly, regardless of how minimally, linked to the killing of and harm done to animals in the future of the meat industry (Singer, 2). In “I Am a Strange Loop,” Douglas Hofstadter examines the manner in which humans examine the value and consciousness …show more content…
Hsiao claims that a contribution to the flourishing or welfare of the moral community is necessary in order for an interest to be deemed moral, yet the suffering of animals in no way contributes to the flourishing or welfare of the moral (Hsiao, 279). By Hsiao’s definition, the life of non-human animals should be considered a moral interest because the manner in which non-human animals are bred and exploited directly contributes to the “environmental problems that the meat industry causes,” and these environmental problems are a detriment to human flourishing (Singer, 3). The welfare of the environment is necessary in order for human life to continue to flourish over time. Human beings need clean air and clean water in order to continue to grow and maintain a healthy society. “Intensive animal production is a heavier user of fossil fuels and a major source of pollution of both air and water” (Singer, 4). By continuing to exploit and slaughter non-human animals for their meat, individuals and industries are risking harming both the environment, and what Hsiao would refer to as the moral community, for the sake of dietary preference (Singer, 4). Such a risk in no way benefits any of the living beings involved. For these reasons the consumption of meat cannot …show more content…
If humans, as members of the moral community, “are able to act for moral reasons,” (Hsiao, 285) it follows that we may choose not to act for moral reasons. Do human beings, as rational and cognitively advanced, not have the duty to consider the welfare of other beings, regardless of their moral status or lack thereof? Gert’s definitition of morality suggests that we do, as considering the welfare of non-human animals lessens evil and harm. Even if, as Hsiao argues, non-human animals are not moral beings, the consideration of animal welfare does not become unworthy of consideration simply because non-human animals lack moral status. The idea that non-human animals are not moral beings is insufficient in justifying the treatment of creatures whose quality of life is so greatly affected by exploitation and slaughter. Humans have, as Hsiao’s thesis exemplifies, begun to fail to consider the value in life outside of human consciousness. In doing so, we have made and maintained arguments based on the claim that we are special. As Michael Pollan points out in his novel Cooked, “humans are the only species that feels compelled to identify faculties that it alone possesses” (Pollan, 55-56), yet we use these particular faculties as evidence in rationalizing our preferences and behaviors. Such claims are circular and

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