Arguing for Vegetarianism:
The Easy Part and the Hard Part
Ohio State University
Many people become vegetarian or vegan after coming to understand the horrifying lives and deaths inflicted on animals by the industry that provides us with meat and other animal products. I argue that it is possible to construct a highly plausible argument that animals should not be treated this way. This, I suggest, is the 'easy part' of arguing that one ought to be a vegetarian. But, you might wonder, does this mean that you should not eat meat? After all, when you order the veal cutlet, the calf is already dead, and ordering the veggie burger instead won't bring it back! This may sound like a crass objection, but I suggest that answering it is the most challenging part of the argument for vegetarianism, requires complex and controversial ethical theorizing. I discuss three approaches to accomplishing the 'hard part' of the argument for vegetarianism, and suggest that despite the difficulties, they amount to a compelling case that we ought to adopt this lifestyle.
Friday, February 19th, 4:30 p.m.
(not our usual room)