On Furrow's Defense of Eating Meat

Dwight Furrow at 3QD has written up a defense of eating meat (ht: Phil Percs) that strikes me as pretty badly confused.He begins by complaining that "Singer's arguments are based on utilitarian
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Dwight Furrow at 3QD has written up a defense of eating meat (ht: Phil Percs) that strikes me as pretty badly confused.He begins by complaining that "Singer's arguments are based on utilitarian premises." This is a common mistake.  Singer appeals to principles like the equal consideration of interests -- you shouldn't arbitrarily favour one being's interests over the equally strong interests of another -- and that we shouldn't harm others for the sake of morally trivial benefits to ourselves.  These principles are of course compatible with utilitarianism, but you don't have to be a utilitarian to accept them. Their appeal should be plain to any minimally decent person. (Singer would be a much less accomplished applied ethicist if his arguments merely took the form, "Utilitarianism implies P.  Utilitarianism, therefore P"!)Furrow's first argument is that, according to utilitarianism, "any loss in the quality of lives in a population can be compensated for. . .

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