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By Andrew F. Smith

Drawing on examine in plant technology, structures ecology, environmental philosophy, and cultural anthropology, Andrew F. Smith shatters the excellence among vegetarianism and omnivorism. The booklet outlines the results that those synthetic differences have for the way we view foodstuff and ourselves as eaters.

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Extra resources for A Critique of the Moral Defense of Vegetarianism

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346). There is no “outside nature,” no ontological position of privilege, no ecological separation between humans and other-than-human beings. Acceptance of this proposition by ecological animalists marks a stark point of contrast with ontological vegans. With this in mind, state ecological animalists, imagine a world in which humans (although perhaps not you or I personally) eat other animals without denying or overlooking that they, like we, are more than food. Imagine not just how this would change our relationship with them but how it would change us.

An omnivore diet]. If we must inflict pain or starve, we would then have to choose the lesser evil. Presumably it would still be true that plants suffer less than animals, and therefore it would still be better to eat plants than to eat animals. Indeed, this conclusion would follow even if plants were as sensitive as animals, since the inefficiency of meat production means that those who eat meat are responsible for the indirect destruction of at least ten times as many plants as are vegetarians!

As far as is possible, plants should be permitted to live out the complete life cycle that their climate and location permits. Fruit and leaves can be picked, preferably upon maturity, but the plant should be left alive and intact. Eating root vegetables requires killing the plant, since it must be pulled from the ground. But root vegetables mature at the end of the plant’s life cycle, which is why many are fit for consumption in autumn. So they also can be harvested when the time is right. Some can even regenerate—yams, potatoes—if part of the root is cut off and replanted (Fox 1999, 155).

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