ABSTRACT

Conventional wisdom is in agreement with Aquinas, Kant, and Locke in that it maintains that animals are spiritually or cognitively inferior to humans. One believes it fair to say that some version of the animal welfare view is the default position for most people. Everyone who subscribes to conventional morality agrees that it is wrong to impose unnecessary suffering on animals. Animals used for dairy and eggs suffer, and they are all ultimately slaughtered, just as those animals used only for meat are slaughtered. There is a broad consensus that animal agriculture is an ecological disaster. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states that animal agriculture contributes more greenhouse gases which are linked directly to global warming to the atmosphere than does burning fossil fuels for transportation. This chapter shows that, unless one is in the first group that regards animals as things that have no moral value, he/she is committed to veganism.