Towards a More Defensible Animal Ethic
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My Senior Individualized Project presents a new animal ethic, influenced by Tom Regan, Donna Harraway, and Onora O’Neill. In this paper I will argue why the meat industry today is unethical and how without laws in place to ensure the moral responsibilities of farmers towards animals, the common fiscally free American cannot with good conscience, buy mass produced meat products. However, after a reworking of factory farms, better conditions for the animals in conjunction with less mass produced animals over all, it will be acceptable to subordinate an animal’s life for one’s peripheral interest of food choice. I will show how this is not a radical conjecture, animals would not have the same rights as humans, but they would be granted a certain level of ethical consideration. Animals should not exist solely to benefit humans, just as humans should not benefit animals without receiving any advantages themselves. If my theory was fully implemented, it would mean that the average American can continue their meat enriched diet, while not supporting what is now a completely unethical meat industry.