Concerning Cattle: Behavioral and Neuroscientific Evidence for Pain, Desire, and Self-consciousness

In Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson & Tyler Doggett (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 139-169 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Should people include beef in their diet? This chapter argues that the answer is “no” by reviewing what is known and not known about the presence in cattle of three psychological traits: pain, desire, and self-consciousness. On the basis of behavioral and neuroanatomical evidence, the chapter argues that cattle are sentient beings who have things they want to do in the proximal future, but they are not self-conscious. The piece rebuts three important objections: that cattle have injury information but not pain; that cattle have goal-directed behavior but not desire; and that the absence of evidence for bovine self-consciousness should not be taken as evidence that cattle lack self-consciousness. In sum, what is known about cattle cognition shifts the moral burden of proof on to the beef eaters.
Reprint years
2018
PhilPapers/Archive ID
COMCCB-2
Upload history
Archival date: 2017-10-12
View other versions
Added to PP index
2017-10-12

Total views
886 ( #4,165 of 54,561 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
249 ( #1,542 of 54,561 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.