Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pain-Free Meat

I find quite persuasive that what's morally wrong - if anything - about eating meat is not that it involves the death of an animal but animal suffering throughout its life. Torturing an animal seems far worse, morally speaking, than having one painlessly killed (e.g. put down by a vet), because it's clear that animals feel pain but not that they have consciousness of themselves as on-going agents with future projects.

If this is right, then eating meat per se isn't wrong, it's simply the meat industry that is. Maybe if animals were kept in good enough conditions, it would be ok to eat them. I don't think there needs to be too much debate as to whether animals like cows, pigs and even chickens can feel pain - though there is for some animals (like fish). An alternative to treating the animals better, however, might be to genetically engineer them to they don't feel pain. An intriguing suggestion...

(Hat-tip Lise. Her post here.)

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