Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-23-2019


The animal liberation movement, among other goals, seeks an end to the use of animals for food. Philosophers who write against animal exploitation agree on the goal but differ in their approaches: Deontologists argue that rearing animals for food infringes animals’ inherent right to life. Utilitarians claim that discontinuing the use of animals for food will result in the maximization of utility. Virtue-oriented theorists argue that using animals for food is an unvirtuous practice. Despite their different approaches, arguments for vegetarianism or veganism have a common step. They move from the notion of suffering to the conclusion of vegetarianism or veganism. In this paper I suggest that the notion of animal suffering is not necessary in order to condemn the practices of animal farming. I propose the possibility of defending vegetarianism or veganism on the basis of arguments that do not rest on the notion of animal suffering, but rather rely on aesthetic principles, the avoidance of violence, and preservation of the environment.


This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. The final authenticated version is available online at:



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.