Bosco, Lauren Honors Ethics First Paper Vegitarianism- Utilitarianism and Deontology

Bosco, Lauren Honors Ethics First Paper Vegitarianism- Utilitarianism and Deontology

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Bosco 1 Lauren Bosco Honors Ethics Professor Campisi Due- October 26 th , 2012
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Bosco 2 Vegetarianism through Utilitarian and Deontological Views One thing which human beings spend a lot of their time thinking about is food. Thoughts about food run constantly through people’s minds on a daily basis, thoughts such as “I could really enjoy some macaroni and cheese right now,” “what is there to eat,” “what should I have for dinner,” and “I would rather have his lunch.” Food is a basic need to human existence and thus these thoughts occur quite naturally. Although some thoughts about food may be superficial, sometimes a person will experience deeper thoughts that begin to address his/her stance on the morality of meat consumption and of animal products. Vegetarianism, the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, can be analyzed through the ethical views of both utilitarianism and deontology. In this paper, I will examine how Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Immanuel Kant would each make a case that defends vegetarianism. I believe that all theorists produce separate arguments that each defends vegetarianism for different reasons. It is the argument Mill makes to defend vegetarianism is the argument that I agree with most. According to a study called “Vegetarianism in America,” 3.2 percent of U.S. adults follow a vegetarian-based (Vegetarianism in America, vegetariantimes.com). The meaning behind this percentage, according to the Vegetarian Times , is approximately 7.3 million Americans are vegetarians with an additional 22.8 million Americans following a vegetarian- inclined diet (Vegetarianism in America, vegetariantimes.com). With the U.S. population an estimated 31.4 million, these numbers are quite large which ultimately raises the question of what the reasons behind vegetarianism are. This question is then typically followed by whether the issue of vegetarianism should not only be a personal choice but instead seen as the right choice for it is morally correct.
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Bosco 3 There are several reasons behind vegetarianism. The three major reasons that support vegetarianism are concern for animal welfare, health factors, and environmental factors. Animal welfare focuses on the proper treatment of animals. People who support animal rights believe that all animals should be treated in a way that minimizes animal suffering. When it comes to factory meat production, not only is the slaughtering of animals painful but the conditions that they live in before they are slaughtered are nothing short of torturous. On meat farms, animals are confined by the thousands into confinement systems such as wire cages. These animals often go crazy due to the limited mobile space and lack of fresh air and sun. Sometimes these animals never see the sun. Animals need fresh air, quality food, and room to move in order to be happy.
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