Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

2019 Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Food and the Moral Status of Animals

  • Federico ZuoloEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1179-9_606

Synonyms

Introduction: Why Diverse Views on the Moral Status of Animals Have Ethical Significance

The fact that people have a range of personal attitudes toward eating is a social fact of little theoretical interest in itself. However, the fact that this diversity of attitudes toward food is often backed up by diverse ethical attitudes is of great theoretical import. This entry focuses on ethical attitudes toward animals as possible food. (Henceforth, by “animals” I refer to nonhuman sentient animals.)

People’s moral attitudes toward food, and in particular animals as food, are usually summarized in a tripartite way: omnivorism, vegetarianism, and veganism. This division is sensible because it tells us the practical outcome of the basic moral commitment: whether a person eats anything, or they eat only animal products but not animals, or they eat neither animals nor animal products. It bears specifying that this...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Classics, Philosophy and HistoryUniversity of GenovaGenovaItaly