Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 579–594 | Cite as

Human Diets and Animal Welfare: the Illogic of the Larder

Article

Abstract

Few moral arguments have been made against vegetarian diets. One exception is the “Logic of the Larder:” We do animals a favor by purchasing their meat, eggs, and milk, for if we did not purchase these products, fewer animals would exist. This argument fails because many farm animals have lives that are probably not worth living, while others prevent a significant number of wild animals from existing. Even if this were not so, the purchase of animal products uses resources that could otherwise be used to bring a much greater number of animals into existence.

Keywords

animal welfare farm animals utilitarianism vegetarianism wildlife 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Appleby, M. C. 1999What Should We do About Animal Welfare?BlackwellMalden, MAGoogle Scholar
  2. Appleby, M. C., Mench, J. A., Hughes, B. O. 2004Poultry Behaviour and WelfareCABIWallingford, UKGoogle Scholar
  3. J. B., BensonRollin,  and B. E. eds. 2004The Well-Being of Farm AnimalsBlackwellAmes, IAGoogle Scholar
  4. Blackorby, C., Donaldson, D. 1992“Pigs and Guinea Pigs: A Note on the Ethics of Animal Exploitation”Economic Journal10213451369Google Scholar
  5. Blackorby, C., Bossert, W., Donaldson, D. 1997“Critical-Level Utilitarianism and the Population Ethics Dilemma”Economics and Philosophy13197230Google Scholar
  6. Blackwell, T. E. 2004

    “Production Practices and Well-Being: Swine,,”

    Benson, J. B.Rollin, B. E. eds. The Well-Being of Farm AnimalsBlackwellAmes, IA241270
    Google Scholar
  7. Broome, J. 2004Weighing LivesOxford University PressOxfordGoogle Scholar
  8. Cabanac, M. 1999“Emotion and Phylogeny”Journal of Consciousness Studies6176190Google Scholar
  9. CAST (Council for Agricultural Science and Technology)1999Animal Agriculture and Global Food Supply: Animal Production Systems and Resource UseCASTAmes, IAGoogle Scholar
  10. Chan, K. M. A., “The Golden Rule Implies Concern for Species from Individual-Level Duties,” (2004) under reviewGoogle Scholar
  11. Chandroo, K. P., Duncan, I. J. H., Moccia, R. D. 2004“Can Fish Suffer? Perspectives on Sentience, Pain, Fear and Stress”Applied Animal Behaviour Science86225250Google Scholar
  12. Cowen, T., Market Failure for the Treatment of Animals (George Mason University, March 21, 2005), http://www.gmu.edu/jbc/Tyler/animals.doc.
  13. de Haan, C., H. Steinfeld, and H. Blackburn, Livestock and the Environment: Finding a Balance (European Commission Directorate-General for Development, 1997), http://www.fao.org/documents/show_cdr.asp?url_file=/docrep/x5303e/x5303e00.htm
  14. Duncan, I. J. H. 2004

    “Welfare Problems of Poultry”

    Benson, J. B.Rollin, B. E. eds. The Well-Being of Farm AnimalsBlackwellAmes, IA307324
    Google Scholar
  15. Eisnitz, G. 1997SlaughterhousePrometheus BooksLondonGoogle Scholar
  16. Fearnley-Whittingstall, H. 2004The River Cottage Meat BookHodder and StoughtonLondonGoogle Scholar
  17. Fraser, D., Weary, D. M. 2004

    “Quality of Life for Farm Animals”

    Benson, J. B.Rollin, B. E. eds. The Well-Being of Farm AnimalsBlackwellAmes, IA3960
    Google Scholar
  18. Frey, R. G. 1983Rights, Killing, and Suffering, Ch. 15Basil BlackwellOxfordGoogle Scholar
  19. Garry, F. B. 2004

    “Animal Well-Being in the US Dairy Industry”

    Benson, J. B.Rollin,  B. E. eds. The Well-Being of Farm AnimalsBlackwellAmes, IA207240
    Google Scholar
  20. Gaston, K. J., Blackburn, T. M., Goldewijk, K. K. 2003“Habitat Conversion and Global Avian Biodiversity Loss”Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B27012931300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gaston, K. J., Evans, K. L. 2004“Birds and People in Europe”Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B27116491655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Grandin, T. and M. Hauser, Animals Are Not Things: A View on Animal Welfare Based on Neurological Complexity (Dept. of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, 2002).Google Scholar
  23. Gruzalski, B. 1989

    “The Case Against Raising and Killing Animals for Food”

    Regan, T.Singer, P. eds. Animal Rights and Human ObligationsPrentice HallEnglewood Cliffs, NJ176191
    Google Scholar
  24. Hajdin, M. 1990“External and Now-for-Then Preferences in Hare’s Theory”Dialogue29305310Google Scholar
  25. Hare, R. M. 1993

    “Why I am Only a Demi-Vegetarian”

    Hare, R. M. eds. Essays on BioethicsOxford University PressLondon
    Google Scholar
  26. Harris, S., Morris, P., Wray, S., Yalden, D. 1995A Review of British Mammals: Population Estimates and Conservation Status of British Mammals Other than CetaceansJNCCPeterborough, UKGoogle Scholar
  27. Hart, H. L. A., “Death and Utility,” New York Review of Books (1980), 27–32Google Scholar
  28. Hastein, T., “Animal Welfare Issues Relating to Aquaculture,” in OIE, Proceedings of the Global Conference on Animal Welfare: An OIE initiative, (February 2004), pp. 219–227Google Scholar
  29. Kaimowitz, D., B. Mertens, S. Wunder, and P. Pacheco, “Hamburger Connection Fuels Amazon Destruction: Cattle Ranching and Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon,” (Center for International Forestry Research, 2004)Google Scholar
  30. L. J., Keeling,Gonyou,  and H. W. eds. 2001Social Behaviour in Farm AnimalsCABI PublishingWallingford, UKGoogle Scholar
  31. Kerasote, T. 1994Bloodties: Nature, Culture, and the HuntKodansha AmericaNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  32. Ng, Y. K. 1989a“What Should We Do About Future Generations? Impossibility of Parfit’s Theory X”Economics and Philosophy5235253Google Scholar
  33. Ng, Y. K. 1989b“Hurka’s Gamble and Methuselah’s Paradox: A Response to Cowen on Normative Population Theory”Social Choice and Welfare64549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ng, Y. K. 1995“Towards Welfare Biology: Evolutionary Economics of Animal Consciousness and Suffering”Biology and Philosophy10255285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Parfit, D. 1984Reasons and PersonsClarendon PressOxfordGoogle Scholar
  36. Personal correspondence, Cattle Facts estimate, reported by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Research Department, 2-19-04; Bill Roenigk, Vice President, National Chicken Council, personal communication, 2-23-04Google Scholar
  37. Peters, R. H. 1983The Ecological Implications of Body SizeCambridge University PressNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  38. Pollan, M., “An Animal’s Place,” New York Times Magazine, November 10, (2002), p. 58–64Google Scholar
  39. Posner, R. A. 2004

    “Animal Rights: Legal, Philosophical, and Pragmatic Perspectives”

    Sunstein, C. R.Nussbaum, M. C. eds. Animal Rights: Current Debates and New DirectionsOxford University PressNew York5177
    Google Scholar
  40. Rahn, A., “An Economic Perspective on the United Egg Producers’ Animal Husbandry Guidelines for US Egg Laying Flocks,” Midwest Poultry Federation Convention Proceedings (St. Paul, MN., March 21, 2002), pp. 158–171Google Scholar
  41. Reagan, D. P.Waide, R. B. eds. 1996Food Web of a Tropical RainForestUniversity of Chicago PressChicagoGoogle Scholar
  42. Rose, M., Adams, D. 1989

    “Evidence for Pain and Suffering in Other Animals”

    Langley,  G. eds. Animal Experimentation: The Consensus ChangesChapman and HallNew York4271
    Google Scholar
  43. Salt, H. “Logic of the Larder,” originally in H. Salt, The Humanities of Diet, 1914, and reprinted in T. Regan and P. Singer (eds.), Animal Rights and Human Obligations (Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1989)Google Scholar
  44. Sandoe, P., Nielsen, B. L., Christensen, L. G., Sorenson, P. 1999“Staying Good While Playing God: The Ethics of Breeding Farm Animals”Animal Welfare8313328PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Sapontzis, S. F. 1987Morals, Reason, and AnimalsTemple University PressPhiladelphia177196Google Scholar
  46. Scruton, R. 2004

    “The Conscientious Carnivore”

    Sapontzis, S. eds. Food For Thought: The Debate over Eating MeatPrometheusAmherst, NY
    Google Scholar
  47. Sikora, R. I. 1978

    “Is it Wrong to Prevent the Existence of Future Generations?”

    Sikora, R. I.Berry, B. eds. Obligations to Future GenerationsTemple University PressPhiladelphia
    Google Scholar
  48. Singer, P. 1972“Famine, Affluence, and MoralityPhilosophy and Public Affairs”1229243Google Scholar
  49. Singer, P. 1999

    “Response to Hare”

    Jamieson, D. eds. Singer and His CriticsBlackwellMalden, MA
    Google Scholar
  50. Singer, P. 1993Practical EthicsCambridge University PressNew York103Google Scholar
  51. Smil, V. 2000Feeding the WorldMIT PressCambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  52. Stephen, L. 1896Social Rights and Duties: Addresses to Ethical SocietiesMacmillan and Co.New YorkGoogle Scholar
  53. Sumner, L. W. 1978

    “Classical Utilitarianism and the Population Optimum”

    Sikora, R. I.Berry, B. eds. Obligations to Future GenerationsTemple University PressPhiladelphia
    Google Scholar
  54. Unger, P. 1996Living High and Letting DieOxford University PressOxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  55. United Soybean Board, Soybean Almanac (2002), http://www.unitedsoybean.org/soystats2002/statesoystats/cropyield.html. Accessed 29 January, 2005
  56. USDA Economic Research Service, Food Consumption (per capita) Data System, http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/foodconsumption/datasystem.asp. Accessed 5 January, 2005
  57. USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, Livestock and Poultry Slaughter Summaries for 2003, http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/reports/nassr/. Accessed 5 January, 2005
  58. Vesterby, M. and K. S. Krupa, Major Uses of Land in the United States, 1997, ERS Statistical Bulletin No. 973 (USDA, Washington DC, 2001), http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/sb973/
  59. Warrick, J., “They Die Piece by Piece: In Overtaxed Plants, Humane Treatment of Cattle is Often a Battle Lost,” Washington Post, April 10, 2001, p. A01Google Scholar
  60. Zakin, S., “Nonpoint Pollution: The Quiet Killer,” Field & Stream, August (1999), pp. 84–88Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Resource EconomicsUniversity of MarylandSilver SpringUSA
  2. 2.Center for Conservation BiologyStanford UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations