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Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


E thics The moral attitude that we should not eat the meat of animals. Vegetarianism has existed for a long time in some religious traditions, but the term “vegetarian” did not become popular until the foundation of the Vegetarian Society in England in 1847. The issue of vegetarianism became more prominent with the rise of the animal liberation movement. Vegetarians argue that eating meat takes animals as a means to an end , and thus fails to respect them as beings with inherent value or with a right to respect. Different theorists provide different sorts of a moral basis for vegetarianism. Some argue that animals have interests, others argue that they have rights. All of these are controversial views. Vegetarian arguments depend on the criterion one takes as the basis of moral consideration. Tom Regan claims that an animal is a subject-of-a-life and that one is not permitted to eat anything that is a subject-of-alife. Peter Singer considers that sentience is the crucial grounds for moral treatment and that no sentient being can be used as food. For the animal liberation movement, the vegetarian lifestyle is fundamental as a personal means of shifting our moral consciousness toward animals. Generally, vegetarianism prohibits meat eating, but not animal products such as milk and eggs. An extreme form of vegetarianism that advocates the avoidance of all animal products ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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