In the latest discussion from Grist’s ongoing conversation around meat, we ask, where are the philosophers arguing that eating meat is moral?
In 1975, Singer wrote Animal Liberation, which launched the modern animal rights movement with its argument that causing animal suffering is immoral. There are plenty of other arguments against eating animals besides Singer’s, going back to the ancient Greeks and Hindus. There are even arguments that Christianity contains a mandate for vegetarianism. Matthew Scully’s Dominion argues against animal suffering; Scully rejects Singer’s utilitarian assertion that humans and animals are equal but says that, since God gave people “dominion over the fish of the sea and the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth,” so we have a responsibility to care for them and show them mercy.
The arguments against eating animals are pretty convincing. But surely, I thought, there were also intellectuals making convincing counterarguments. Right? Nope. Not really.