Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 455–468 | Cite as

Meat and Morality: Alternatives to Factory Farming

Article

Abstract

Scientists have shown that the practice of factory farming is an increasingly urgent danger to human health, the environment, and nonhuman animal welfare. For all these reasons, moral agents must consider alternatives. Vegetarian food production, humane food animal farming, and in-vitro meat production are all explored from a variety of ethical perspectives, especially utilitarian and rights-based viewpoints, all in the light of current U.S. and European initiatives in the public and private sectors. It is concluded that vegetarianism and potentially in-vitro meat production are the best-justified options.

Keywords

Factory farming Humane farming In-vitro meat production Rights theory Utilitarianism Vegetarianism 

References

  1. Adams, C. (1990). The sexual politics of meat. New York, NY: Continuum.Google Scholar
  2. Akers, K. (2008). How many vegetarians? Vegetarian Society of Colorado. http://www.vsc.org/1103-How-Many-Veggies.htm. Accessed 14 August 2008.
  3. ADA Reports. (2003). Position of the American dietetic association and dieticians of Canada: Vegetarian diets. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 103, 748–765.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bentham, J. (1789, 1988 reprint). The principles of morals and legislation. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  5. Bittman, Mark. (2008). Putting meat back in its place. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/d11/dining/11mini.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&parntner=rssy. Accessed 11 June 2008.
  6. Bittman, Mark. (2009). Food matters: A guide to conscious eating. New York, NY: Simon & Shuster.Google Scholar
  7. Callicott, J. B. (1980). Animal liberation: A triangular affair. Environmental Ethics, 2, 311–328.Google Scholar
  8. Clark, S. R. L. (2006). Respecting sentient beings. Organization and Environment, 19, 280–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Curtin, D. (2004). Contextual moral vegetarianism. In S. Sapontzis (Ed.), Food for thought (pp. 272–283). Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  10. DeVault, G. (2008). Which comes first: The chicken or the profit? Mother Earth News, p. 25.Google Scholar
  11. FDA Unveils Proposal to Fight Mad Cow. (2005). REDORBIT NEWS. http://www.redorbit.com/modules/news/tools.php?tool=print&id=260499. Accessed 26 July 2007.
  12. FAO. (2006). Livestock a major threat to environment. <http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html>http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html. Accessed 29 November 2009.
  13. Frey, R. G. (1989). The case against animal rights. In T. Regan & P. Singer (Eds.), Animal rights and human obligations (2nd ed., pp. 115–118). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  14. Frey, R. G. (2004). Utilitarianism and moral vegetarianism again: Protest or effectiveness? In S. Sapontzis (Ed.), Food for thought (pp. 118–123). Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  15. Frey, R. G., & Paton, W. (1989). Vivisection, morals, and medicine: An exchange. In T. Regan & P. Singer (Eds.), Animal rights and human obligations (2nd ed., pp. 223–236). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  16. Gruen, L. (2004). Empathy and vegetarian commitments. In S. Sapontzis (Ed.), Food for thought (pp. 124–137). Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  17. Gruzalski, B. (2004). Why it’s wrong to eat animals raised and slaughtered for food. In S. Sapontzis (Ed.), Food for thought (pp. 124–137). Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  18. Harris, G. (2009). President promises to bolster food safety. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/us/politics/15address.html. Accessed 15 March 2009.
  19. How many vegetarians are there in the US?. (2006). Vegetarian Basic 101—Care2.com. http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/disc.html?gpp=4121&pst=481813. Accessed 14 August 2008.
  20. Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). (2008). An HSUS report: The welfare of animals in the meat, egg, and dairy industries. http://www.hsus.org/farm/resources/research/welfare/welfare_overview.html. Accessed 4 August 2008.
  21. Hunger Notes. (2008). Pew Commission says industrial scale farm animal production poses “unacceptable” risks to public health, environment. http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/08/us/pew2.htm. Accessed 4 May 2008.
  22. Kruglinski, S. (2008). Building a better burger. Discover Magazine, pp. 36–37.Google Scholar
  23. Lavelle, M., & Garber, K. (2008). Fixing the food crisis. U. S. News and World Report, pp. 36–42.Google Scholar
  24. Lederer, E. M. (2009). UN says world population to hit 7 billion by 2012. Associated Press. Yahoo News. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090312/ap_on_re_us/un_un_world_population_2. Accessed 14 March 2009.
  25. Martin, A. (2007). Meat processors look for ways to keep ground beef safe. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/06/business/06meat.html?ei=5089&en=a6858b42952e2. Accessed 8 December 8 2007.
  26. Martin, A. (2008). Largest recall of ground beef is ordered. The New York Times. http://www.Nytimes.com/2008/02/18/business/18recall.html?pagewanted=print. Accessed 13 August 2008.
  27. Paper says edible meat can be grown in a lab on industrial scale. (2005). University of Maryland Newsdesk. http://www.newsdesk.umd.edu/schtech/print.cfm?articleID+1098. Accessed 13 June 2008.
  28. Pfister, B. (2008). Meat CSAs catching on. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. http://pittsburghlive.come/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/print_571712.html. Accessed 9 June 2008.
  29. Pluhar, E. B. (1995). Beyond prejudice: The moral significance of human and nonhuman animals. Durham, NC: Duke U. Press.Google Scholar
  30. Pluhar, E. B. (2004). The right not to be eaten. In S. Sapontzis (Ed.), Food for thought (pp. 92–107). Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  31. Pollan, M. (2006). The omnivore’s dilemma. New York, NY: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  32. Rawls, J. (1971). A theory of justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Press.Google Scholar
  33. Regan, T. (1983). The case for animal rights. Berkeley: U. of California Press.Google Scholar
  34. Regan, T. (2001). Defending animal rights. Urbana: U. of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  35. Revkin, A. (2008). Can people have meat and a planet too? The New York Times. dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/11. Accessed 11 April 2008.Google Scholar
  36. Sagoff, M. (1984). Animal liberation and environmental ethics: Bad marriage, quick divorce. Osgood Hall Law Journal, 22, 303–304.Google Scholar
  37. Sandhana, L. (2006). Test tube meat nears dinner table. Common Dreams News Center. http://www.commondreams.org/cgi-bin/print.cgi?file+headline06/0621-03.htm. Accessed 13 June 2008.
  38. Sayre, Laura. (2009). The hidden link between factory farms and human illness. Mother Earth News, pp. 76–83.Google Scholar
  39. Scientists aim for lab-grown meat. (2005). BBC News. http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4148. Accessed 13 June 2008.
  40. Scientists offered $1 million to grow laboratory chicken. (2008). CNN Headline News. http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/04/23/peta.chicken/index.html. Accessed 13 June.
  41. Seven children wait for their IVF sibling. (2008). Baby Web. http://www.babyweb.com.u/modules.php?name_News&file+print&sid+832. Accessed 1 September 2008.
  42. Singer, P. (1990). Animal liberation (2nd ed.). New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  43. Singer, P. (2004). Animal liberation: Vegetarianism as protest. In S. Sapontzis (Ed.), Food for thought (pp. 108–117). Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  44. Swift, Jonathan. (1729, 1976 reprint). A modest proposal for preventing the children of poor people from being a burthen to their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the publick. In R. Regan and P. Singer (Eds.), Animal rights and human obligations (pp. 234–237). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  45. Union of Concerned Scientists. (2009). Food and agriculture report: European Union bans antibiotics for growth production. http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/solutions/wise_antibiotics/european-union-bans.html. Accessed 11 March 2009.
  46. United Poultry Concerns. (2008). Animals killed for food in the United States in 2000 (millions). http://www.upc-online.org/slaughter_stats.html. Accessed 1 August 2008.
  47. Walker, Alice. (1988). Am I blue? Living by the word. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanich.Google Scholar
  48. Wordsmith. A., & Word. A. (2008). Day—factory farming. Wsmith@wordsmith.org. Accessed 19 March 2008.Google Scholar
  49. World Farm Animals Day. (2008). U. S. animal death statistics. http://www.wfad.org/statistics/. Accessed 4 August 2008.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor of PhilosophyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniontownUSA

Personalised recommendations