Human Diets and Animal Welfare: the Illogic of the Larder

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.

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Correspondence to Kai M. A. Chan.

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Matheny, G., Chan, K.M.A. Human Diets and Animal Welfare: the Illogic of the Larder. J Agric Environ Ethics 18, 579–594 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10806-005-1805-x

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Keywords

  • animal welfare
  • farm animals
  • utilitarianism
  • vegetarianism
  • wildlife