DOI link for Conscientious Omnivorism
Conscientious Omnivorism book
Is it morally permissible for people like us-denizens of the aff luent Western world-to purchase or eat meat? Conscientious omnivores believe so, provided that the meat is not factory farmed (or otherwise produced by treating animals cruelly). Moral vegetarians take a more hard-line approach, maintaining that people like us in our circumstances ought not to purchase or eat meat at all because doing so would be wrong. I find myself conf licted about which of these positions to accept. I believe that, at the very least, we should be conscientious omnivores. But I am unsure whether, having accepted conscientious omnivorism, there are principled reasons not to take the further step of embracing moral vegetarianism full stop. My project in this chapter is to explore this issue. 1
I should warn you that my discussion does not aim to be ethically neutral, as I will be working with a broadly deontological view of what makes acts right. According to this view, when an act is right, it is not because it brings about the best consequences or maximizes value. Rather, ordinarily, when an act is right, it is determined by the rights and obligations that agents have against one another, which they possess in virtue of the worth that they have. I will work with this position not only because doing so will help to focus our discussion, but also because it seems to me true.