Is a vegetarian diet morally safe?

Zeitschrift Für Ethik Und Moralphilosophie (forthcoming)
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If non-human animals have high moral status, then we commit a grave moral error by eating them. Eating animals is thus morally risky, while many agree that it is morally permissible to not eat animals. According to some philosophers, then, non-animal ethicists should err on the side of caution and refrain from eating animals. I argue that this precautionary argument assumes a false dichotomy of dietary options: a diet that includes farm-raised animals or a diet that does not include animals of any kind. There is a third dietary option, namely, a diet of plants and non-traditional animal protein, and there is evidence that such a diet results in the least amount of harm to animals. It follows therefore that moral uncertainty does not support the adoption of a vegetarian diet.

Author's Profile

Christopher A. Bobier
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota


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