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

  • Gaverick Matheny
  • Kai M. A. ChanEmail author


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.


animal welfare farm animals utilitarianism vegetarianism wildlife 


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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

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