Many moral philosophers have criticized intensive animal farming because it can be harmful to the environment, it causes pain and misery to a large number of animals, and furthermore eating meat and animal-based products can be unhealthful. The issue of industrially farmed animals has become one of the most pressing ethical questions of our time. On the one hand, utilitarians have argued that we should become vegetarians or vegans because the practices of raising animals for food are immoral since they minimize the overall happiness. Deontologists, on the other hand, have argued that the practices of raising animals for food are immoral because animals have certain rights and we have duties toward them. Some virtue ethicists remain unconvinced of deontic and consequentialist arguments against the exploitation of animals and suggest that a virtue-based approach is better equipped to show what is immoral about raising and using animals for food, and what is virtuous about ethical veganism.
Alvaro, Carlo, "Ethical Veganism, Virtue, and Greatness of the Soul" (2017). CUNY Academic Works.
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