Why I Am a Vegan (and You Should Be One Too)

In Philosophy Comes to Dinner. Routledge. pp. 73-91 (2015)
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Abstract

This paper argues for what I call modest ethical veganism: the view that it is typically wrong to use or eat products made from or by animals such as cows, pigs, or chickens. The argument has three central parts. First, I argue that a central explanation for the wrongness of causing suffering rests upon what it is like to experience such suffering, and that we have good reasons to think that animals suffer in ways that are relevantly analogous to humans. Second, I argue that animals can have better and worse lives, and that a central explanation for the wrongness of killing is that it deprives the victim of the valuable life that they would otherwise have had. Third, I argue that it is wrong to cooperate with massive wrongdoing. By consuming animal products, we typically support institutions that engage in massive and systematic wrongful treatment of animals. We thus ought to become vegan.

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Tristram McPherson
Ohio State University

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