Does the meat industry harm animals?

Should we eat animals? Vegetarians often say “No, because the meat industry harms animals greatly.” They point to the appalling conditions in which animals are raised in factory farms, and the
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Should we eat animals? Vegetarians often say “No, because the meat industry harms animals greatly.” They point to the appalling conditions in which animals are raised in factory farms, and the manner in which they are killed. Meat-eaters often reply that this objection is ill-founded because animals owe their very existence to the meat industry. The meat industry cannot be said to harm animals, because without this industry these animals would not have existed at all. Implicit here is the idea that something can harm a being only if it makes her worse off in some way than she would otherwise have been. Without the meat industry, these animals would not have been, and so would not have had a level of well-being at all. But the meat industry does not harm these animals by bringing them into existence. It harms them by giving them worse lives than they might otherwise have had. These animals are harmed by the fact that, once in existence, they are treated so badly, rather than given. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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