Advertisement

Varieties of the Cruelty-Based Objection to Factory Farming

  • Christopher BobierEmail author
Articles
  • 129 Downloads

Abstract

Timothy Hsiao defends industrial animal agriculture (hereafter, factory farming) from the “strongest version of the cruelty objection” (J Agric Environ Ethics 30(1):37–54, 2017). The cruelty objection, following Rachels (in: Sapontzis S (ed) Food for thought: the debate over eating meat, Prometheus, Amherst, 2004), is that, because it is wrong to cause pain without a morally good reason, and there is no morally good reason for the pain caused in factory farming (e.g., people do not need to eat meat in order to live healthy, flourishing lives), factory farming is morally indefensible.In this paper, I do not directly engage Hsiao’s argument for the moral permissibility of factory farming, which has been done by others (Puryear et al. in J Agric Environ Ethics 30(2):311–323, 2017). Rather, my aim is to assess whether Hsiao’s criticism of one version of the cruelty-based objection is a criticism of all versions of the cruelty-based objection, or objections to factory farming that appeal to the harm or suffering experienced by farm animals. I argue that there are, at least, four distinct kinds of cruelty-based objections to factory farming, distinguishable by their different moral principles or moral observations, and that Hsiao’s criticism of one kind of cruelty-based objection does not generalize to the others.

Keywords

Factory farming Industrial farming Vegetarianism Animal cruelty 

Notes

References

  1. Anomaly, J. (2015). What’s wrong with factory farming? Public Health Ethics, 8(3), 246–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Appleby, M. (2005). Food prices and animal welfare. In A. Rosati, A. Tewolde, & C. Mosconi (Eds.), Animal production and animal science worldwide. World Association for Animal Production.Google Scholar
  3. Bruers, S. (2015). In defense of eating vegan. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 28(4), 705–717.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. DeGrazia, D. (2002). Animal rights: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. DeGrazia, D. (2008). Moral status as a matter of degree? The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 46(2), 181–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. DeGrazia, D. (2009). Moral vegetarianism from a very broad basis. Journal of Moral Philosophy, 6(2), 143–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Halteman, M. (2011). Varieties of harm to animals in industrial farming. Journal of Animal Ethics, 1(2), 122–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hooley, D., & Nobis, N. (2015). A moral argument for veganism. In A. Chignell, M. Halteman, & T. Cuneo (Eds.), Philosophy comes to dinner: Arguments on the ethics of eating. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Hosie, R. (2017). The undercover investigators exposing animal abuse in factory farms. Independent https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/animal-abuse-factory-farms-undercover-investigators-pigs-chickens-cows-turkeys-mercy-for-animals-a7501816.html. Accessed 1 Nov 2018.
  10. Hsiao, T. (2015a). In defense of eating meat. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 28(2), 277–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hsiao, T. (2015b). A carnivorous rejoinder to bruers and erdos. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 28(6), 1127–1138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hsiao, T. (2017). Industrial farming is not cruel to animals. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 30(1), 37–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. McPherson, T. (2016). Why I am a vegan (and you should be one too). In A. Chignell, M. Halteman, & T. Cuneo (Eds.), Philosophy comes to dinner: Arguments on the ethics of eating. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. McPherson, T. (2018). The ethical basis for veganism. In A. Barnhill, M. Budolfson, & T. Dogget (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of food ethics. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Norcross, A. (2004). Puppies, pigs, and people: Eating meat and marginal cases. Philosophical Perspectives, 18(1), 229–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pluhar, E. (2010). Meat and morality: Alternatives to factory farming. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 23(5), 455–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pollan, M. (2006). The omnivore’s dilemma: A natural history of four meals. New York: Penguin Press.Google Scholar
  18. Puryear, S., Bruers, S., & Erdős, L. (2017). On a failed defense of factory farming. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 30(2), 311–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rachels, J. (2004). The basic argument for vegetarianism. In Steve Sapontzis (Ed.), Food for thought: The debate over eating meat (pp. 70–80). Amherst: Prometheus.Google Scholar
  20. Rachels, S. (2011). Vegetarianism. In T. Beauchamp & R. Frey (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of animal ethics (pp. 877–905). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rossi, J., & Garner, S. (2014). Industrial farm animal production: A comprehensive moral critique. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 27, 479–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rowe, William. (1979). The problem of evil and some varieties of atheism. American Philosophical Quarterly, 16(4), 335–341.Google Scholar
  23. Singer, P. (1975). Animal liberation. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  24. Singer, P. (2000). Down on the factory farm. In P. Singer (Ed.), Writings on an ethical life. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  25. Tanner, J. (2015). Clarifying the concept of cruelty: What makes cruelty to animals cruel? Heythrop Journal, 56(5), 818–835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Weir, J. (1988). Vegetarianism and the argument from unnecessary pain. Southwest Philosophical Studies, 10(3), 92–100.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Saint Mary’s University of MinnesotaWinonaUSA

Personalised recommendations