1st Edition

Food, Animals, and the Environment An Ethical Approach

By Christopher Schlottmann, Jeff Sebo Copyright 2019
    264 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    264 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Food, Animals, and the Environment: An Ethical Approach examines some of the main impacts that agriculture has on humans, nonhumans, and the environment, as well as some of the main questions that these impacts raise for the ethics of food production, consumption, and activism. Agriculture is having a lasting effect on this planet. Some forms of agriculture are especially harmful. For example, industrial animal agriculture kills 100+ billion animals per year; consumes vast amounts of land, water, and energy; and produces vast amounts of waste, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Other forms, such as local, organic, and plant-based food, have many benefits, but they also have many costs, especially at scale. These impacts raise difficult ethical questions. What do we owe animals, plants, species, and ecosystems? What do we owe people in other nations and future generations? What are the ethics of risk, uncertainty, and collective harm? What is the meaning and value of natural food in a world reshaped by human activity? What are the ethics of supporting harmful industries when less harmful alternatives are available? What are the ethics of resisting harmful industries through activism, advocacy, and philanthropy? The discussion ranges over cutting-edge topics such as effective altruism, abolition and regulation, revolution and reform, individual and structural change, single-issue and multi-issue activism, and legal and illegal activism. This unique and accessible text is ideal for teachers, students, and anyone else interested in serious examination of one of the most complex and important moral problems of our time.

    1. Introduction  2. Facts, Values, and Naturalness  3. Moral Theory  4. Moral Status  5. Agriculture and the Environment  6. Industrial Agriculture  7. Alternatives to Industrial Agriculture  8. The Ethics of Food Production  9. The Ethics of Food Consumption  10. The Ethics of Legal Food Activism  11. The Ethics of Illegal Food Activism  12. Conclusion


    Christopher Schlottmann is Clinical Professor, Associate Chair, and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Environmental Studies at New York University, USA. He works on the ethical and social dimensions of environmental change.

    Jeff Sebo is Clinical Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Affiliated Professor of Bioethics, Medical Ethics, and Philosophy, and Director of the Animal Studies M.A. Program at New York University, USA. He works primarily in bioethics, animal ethics, and environmental ethics.

    "Schlottmann and Sebo provide a timely, in-depth analysis of some of the staggering ethical issues at the intersection of food production, animal use, and climate change. Until now, this complex nexus has not received such sustained philosophical attention. This book is an extremely valuable resource for all those concerned about the most serious environmental issues of our times. It is also an important addition for environmental studies courses. I can’t wait to teach it in my classes."Lori Gruen, William Griffin Professor of Philosophy and coordinator of Wesleyan Animal Studies, Wesleyan University, USA

    "Food, Animals, and the Environment: An Ethical Approach is a remarkably thorough and accessible account of the ecological and moral implications of raising animals for human consumption. Rather than settling for polemical answers to the most complicated environmental and ethical problems that we face, the authors honor the complexity of the issues they explore while offering ways to think about the proliferating facts and values that dominate the increasingly contested act of eating animals. I cannot wait to use this book in my own classes."James McWilliams, Professor of Practice, Department of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, andauthor most recently of Just Food and Eating Promiscuously

    "Schlottmann and Sebo have produced an utterly superb analysis of the ethics of eating animals, brilliantly distinguished by crystal-clear thinking, accessible writing, and plenty of insight into values and sources of bias. Every eater will have much to learn from this book."Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, USA, Emerita, and author most recently of Unsavory Truth