Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Fred's Basement and Norcross's Argument Against Meat-eating

From guest blogger, Zach.

In Norcross’s paper “Puppies, Pigs, and People," he argues that it’s wrong to cause a great deal of suffering purely for gustatory pleasure. I strongly agree with his argument, and think that gustatory pleasure is not a justifiable excuse for factory farming. 

Norcross uses the analogy of torturing puppies for chocolate consumption. He explains that “Fred” tortures puppies so he can eat chocolate. When arrested, Norcross claims that what Fred did was no different from individuals eating factory farmed meat.

To Norcross, enjoying the products of suffering is just as immoral even if you didn’t cause the suffering directly. This can be applied to most modern-day food consumers, who buy meat at grocery stores and restaurants. There aren’t any clear indications of suffering in the meat these people buy, but a great deal of suffering has most likely occurred. These consumers, in Norcross’ eyes, are morally in the wrong.

One of the two major arguments against Norcross’s piece is the disanalogy between what Fred did and us as humans, eating meat. I disagree, I think that what Fred did translates perfectly to us eating meat. Torturing animals and raising them in terrible conditions just so we can have gustatory pleasure (i.e., eating chocolate) is wrong. The second major argument against this principle is to simply deny it, stating that your taste trumps suffering. There isn’t really much of a possible rebuttal against a statement as apathetic as this, except to point out that if the situation were reversed, you would want someone to vouch for your interest not to suffer, as well.

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