A Critique of the Moral Defense of Vegetarianism

  • Authors
  • Andrew F. Smith

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Andrew F. Smith
    Pages 1-10
  3. Andrew F. Smith
    Pages 11-37
  4. Andrew F. Smith
    Pages 39-70
  5. Andrew F. Smith
    Pages 71-98
  6. Andrew F. Smith
    Pages 99-119
  7. Andrew F. Smith
    Pages 121-130
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 131-178

About this book


Is vegetarianism morally defensible? Can one even be a vegetarian?

This book asserts that the answers to both these questions is a resounding 'no.' Drawing on the latest research in plant science, systems ecology, environmental philosophy, and cultural anthropology, Andrew F. Smith—himself a long-time vegetarian—shatters the distinction between vegetarianism and omnivorism. He explains how the world would be better off if we could re-orient the way we think about plants, animals, and the moral reasoning that we use to bolster our belief in such a binary. Smith illustrates how the divisions we have constructed between plants and animals, and between omnivorism and vegetarianism, is emblematic of a way of thinking about ourselves and our eating practices that perpetuates an ecocidal worldview. A Critique of the Moral Defense of Vegetarianism insists we must adopt new ways of looking at things if our species is to survive and thrive. Smith suggests we begin by re-envisioning our relationship with our food. It turns out we are not what we eat, but who we eat. And this makes a world of difference.


environment ethics medicine moral morality nature conservation philosophy public health science

Bibliographic information