vegan muse

Vegetarianism

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The following briefly touches upon Michael Allen Fox’s arguments for vegetarianism (veganism) and focuses upon his 1999 book entitled ‘Deep Vegetarianism‘.

“Detailed, thorough, and wide-ranging, this is the most comprehensive, original work on philosophical vegetarianism to date. Deep Vegetarianism addresses the cultural, historical and philosophical backgrounds for vegetarianism, details the impact to vegetarianism on one’s thinking and living, relates vegetarianism to recent defenses of the moral status of animals, and very ably considers all the significant arguments for and against vegetarianism.”Evelyn B. Pluhar, author of Beyond Prejudice: The Moral Significance of Human and Nonhuman Animals

Fox’s Purpose

1. To convince you to adopt vegetarianism (veganism);
2. Fox thinks you should not consume any sentient being.

Book’s Method / Style

Fox gives clear, analytic arguments. His message doesn’t come by way of metaphors and literary devices. He carefully builds a case with multiple components.

According to this methodology, we judge the argument on the basis of its reasons.

Types of Support

1. Factual evidence
2. Moral arguments

Fox’s Four Arguments

1. The human health argument
2. The animal suffering argument
3. The environmental damage argument
4. The global injustice argument

Each of the above arguments corresponds to a unique ethical perspective, namely

1. Human health –> anthropocentrism
2. Animal suffering –> bio-centrism
3. Environmental damage –> eco-centrism
4. Social injustice –> political ecology

Anthropocentrism

Human beings are the centre of moral concern.
“Man is the measure of all things.”

Bio-centrism

Living things other than humans are deserving of moral concern. We have duties to preserve life, alleviate suffering, etc.
“Reverence for all life.”

Eco-centrism

Ecosystems and land communities are the centre of moral concern.
“It is wrong to interfere with the stability, integrity and beauty of the land community.”

Political ecology

The origin of the environmental crisis is social and political.
To understand and possibly resolve it, our approach must focus on social and political factors.

For those of you in or around the Ottawa area, the Ottawa Public Library has four copies available for loan.

Be Well.

Deep Vegetarianism
Photo: “Michael Allen Fox – Deep Vegetarianism” by Temple University Press

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