Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Peter Singer on Ethics, Altruism, and Morality

Section #10

            Altruism by definition, is the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. Peter Singer takes this definition and forms a philosophy from this that has become quite popular among vegans, vegetarians, humanitarians, environmentalists, and the everyday good doer.  His philosophy pertains more specifically to ethics and morality of eating animals (animal rights) and morality of what we spend our money on and how spending could be done elsewhere to benefit more people than just ourselves. In this YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHzwqf_JkrA Perter Singer talks about our species and how we have grown to the top of the food chain with little to no regard for the species of animals that we consume to be where we are today. He promotes veganism and vegetarianism and discusses that we should all start to move in this direction. Elaborating that animals have conscious minds and feel pain and asks, “is the mainstream view of farming compatible with the way we treat animals?” Most people have an idea about what might happen on these farms but would otherwise be horrified if seen firsthand. Yes, this may be hard to swallow but from a different perspective, why do we not feel bad about this maltreatment of livestock when it is in front of our face every time we go to the grocery store? Though when a dog attacks a person or in the same case of Harambe, was euthanized (even though the child was not killed or brutally wounded), we feel sorrowful and sympathetic for the animal? So, you’re telling me that ‘one’ gorilla that was captive in a Zoo with no hopes of being released into the wild and not in our mainstream diet was killed and think that that was more morally and ethically wrong than the millions of turkeys that are sacrificed for our traditional holiday? Neither of them aren’t necessarily right or wrong but should we stop the large masses of food being produced in the world today and go vegetarian? What about the 7.5 billion people on this planet that our livestock system has allowed us to sustain? What’s the ethics and morality in that, when we cut out all animal based sustenance? Is it ok to feed off trees and plants because it doesn’t have visible feelings like that of animals? How would you solve this dilemma and is it possible to devise a system that is morally and ethically right?

            Another point Singer makes is that the mass production of factory farming has a negative effect on our environment. Not only because of the large lagoons used to hold all of the animal’s waste that makes its way into other water ways and contaminates them but also the vast number of cattle who apparently release massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere which is a significant contributor to global warming as a greenhouse gas. Along with this he says that factory farming should go green and allow for animals to live a happier life than what they currently do. The issue with this is that sure, we may provide the animals the ability to range and graze and promote happiness but if we move towards organic farming then we need more land because the grass that we would need for cattle won’t be enough. So now we must resort to other means to supply the cattle enough food so we can sustain the human population.

Second comment: Life is too short not to live (SECTION 9) http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2017/04/life-is-too-short-not-to-live.html#links

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