Thursday, March 30, 2017


Make-up quizzes

  • You can take a make-up quiz if you missed a quiz because of a) an extracurricular activity, b) some other unavoidable problem such as illness, a family emergency, or a job interview, c) a pre-approved religious holiday.  You need to explain such absences and be prepared to document them.
  • Make-up quizzes will be just like other quizzes and will also be given on a "surprise" basis.  When the dice do not indicate a quiz, I may declare a make-up quiz.
  • NEW POLICY, see 4/6 post
  • Some of you have said you prefer to make a powerpoint rather than create a post in blogger.  That's OK, but please create a link to your powerpoint in blogger.  
  • Your presentation post/powerpoint will be on the screen during your presentation. It should help you do your presentation and should help your audience follow your presentation.
  • You need to have pictures!  Take pictures at your site or if that doesn't make sense, then get them online.  Take videos too--e.g. videos from the rodeo, the aquarium, or the zoo, could be very pertinent to your presentation.  If you put them online we should be able to create links at the presentation blog.  Tests your links!
  • READ the instructions about the presentation!  They are at the tab above.

  • Look at Canvas so you know all the involvement requirements and the extra credit opportunities.  
  • Today's opportunity is a talk in McCord auditorium at 4:00. It's a student-oriented talk on aesthetic responsibility by the well-known philosopher Susan Wolf.


Adam Shriver, "Knocking Out Pain in Livestock:  Can Technology Succeed Where Morality has Stalled?" (2009)

"....Where Morality has Stalled"--why does he think morality has stalled?
  • more vegans and vegetarians
  • more reforms
  • but higher per capita meat consumption (190 lbs/person --> 222 lbs/person)
  • population increase
  • further evidence (not in Shriver): changing minds vs. changing behavior (Schwitzgebel)

    Shriver aims to show (p. 178, second column, toward end)
    1. "genetically engineering livestock [that can't suffer pain] will produce a world with better consequences..." (utilitarian approach)
    2. "doing so will not introduce any new 'wrongs' into the world that will be offensive to other ethical theories" (besides utilitarianism)


    Genetic Engineering (GE) vs. Animal Breeding
    • Breeding: Labrador retriever mates with poodle --> labradoodle  
    • GE:  spider genes added to goat genome --> goat-spider (first one made in lab, next generation via regular reproduction)
    • How GE works:  FDA Q&A
    GE and our food supply
    •  Plants:  ~90% of food in supermarket contains some GE plant ingredients
    •  Animals:  GE animals have been created, one has been approved for food:  GE Salmon
    Other proposals as to how GE can make animal-consumption ethically better
    • cow-roo--cattle that produce less methane, so contribute less to global warming
    • enviro-pig--pigs that produce less polluting excrement, so do less damage to environment 
    • idea discussed (critically) by Gruen--could engineer animals so they have very short lifespans; thus, when they're killed they're not deprived of future life

    1. sensory component (localization and quality--sharp, dull, burning, etc.)
    2. affective component (the hurting and suffering)

    Evidence for separateness of sensory and affective components
    1. researchers found that lesions to ACC left human patients with sensory pain, but less affective pain
    2. researchers found that lesions to S1& S2 left them with affective pain, but less sensory pain
    3. morphine, which affects ACC more, leaves human patients with sensory pain
    4. behavior of rats after ACC ablation: they seem to lose affective pain but retain sensory pain (see below)

    Proposal: use GE to create animals with no ACC, but with intact S1& S2
    • peptide P311 controls formation of ACC
    • knockout mice without P311 behaved like the rats after ACC ablation
    • "P311 is likely to play a similar role in all mammals" (p. 180)
    • the knockout mice could their cages
    • knockout livestock would their limited environment
    • "This would be a good model for sows or veal calves who spend most of their lives confined in small pens where they can't do much of anything that would injure or otherwise harm themselves." (p. 181, first column, top)
    • "ablation of the anterior cingulate causes mother mammals to stop responding to the cries of their young" (p. 181, first column, middle) -- so would relieve suffering caused by separation

    Now for the argument for doing this (p. 119)--

    1. Objection: Knockout animals will acquire more bruises, so will be un-marketable. Reply:  the animals will still feel pain, so will engage in normal pain-guarding and other behaviors.
    2. Objection: GE animals are unnatural.  Reply: farmed animals are already unnatural because of breeding
    3. Objection:  people will be "more careless or cruel in their interactions with the animals" (p. 184, left column, top).  Reply: not clear

    Tuesday, March 28, 2017

    Humane Farming

    Before we state the Humane Farming Defense, we need more background.  How humane is humane?

    I. Standard factory farming
    II. Factory farming with reforms
    III. More humane farming
    IV. Nearly ideal humane farming
    V. Plant farming


    Caged Laying Hens

    Gestation crates (Humane Society)
    Farrowing Crate



    Whole Foods' 5 Step System


    Free range, not just cage free


    Pollan and Davis


    Extra Credit Involvement

    Attend talk on March 30 (see below)--5 extra credit involvement points--upload one page of notes or turn in by April 4

    Attend a Rodeo by April 4--5 extra credit involvement points--upload recent receipt or turn in on April 4

    Go to Zoo or Aquarium by April 18--5 extra credit involvement points--upload recent receipt or turn in on April 18

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

    The argument for veganism: Norcross


    Norcross article

    Animals As Food


    • April 4, hunting and rodeo presentations
    • March 28--your blog post and proof of visit is due


    Is it ethical to use animals as food?
    1. No, we should be vegans--(a) authors we've already studied (who?), (b) Norcross
    2. Yes, it can be ethical--(a) authors we've already studied (who?), (b) 4 defenses (Frey, George, Davis, Pollan)
    3. It would be more ethical after genetic engineering (Shriver)
    Fact Gathering First  
    1. Impact--on animals, on environment 
    2. Nutrition--can a vegan diet be healthy?
    3. Taste--does a vegan diet taste good?
    IMPACT--on animals, on environment
      Numbers (source)
      • About 10 billion land animals die annually in food production in the US
      • 218 million are killed by hunters, in animal shelters, research, product testing, dissection, and fur farms (2% of total killed)
      Types of Animal Farming (discuss #1 and #2 today, 3-5 later on)
      1. Factory farming (vast majority of US farming)
      2. Reformed factory farming 
      3. Boutique humane farming
      4. Perfectly painless farming
      5. Plant farming (animals still killed, but accidentally)
      The Big Picture
      The Meatrix (about history of factory farming) (we'll watch)
      Food Inc
      Glass Walls (PETA video)

      Broiler Chickens (for meat)

      Treatment: debeaking, very short lives, crowding (20,000 per barn),  ammonia fumes, collapsing under own weight (see Food Inc.)

      Laying hens (for eggs)

      What happens to the males?

      Looking down into a dumpster - discarded male chicks
      Treatment: crowding (each chicken has less space than a piece of typing paper), debeaking

      Farm Sanctuary

      Slaughter of chickens: thrown on trucks, long trip, no water, shackled upside down, dragged through electrified water, throats slit, more about slaughter


      Treatment: crowding, tail-docking, sow crates

      An industry video about phasing out of sow crates: (scroll down)

      Beef Cattle

      Treatment: castration, branding, range life until 8 months, feedlot for several months; corn diet, antibiotics, hormones
      More info:  Power Steer

      Dairy Cows

      Treatment: separation from calves, over-milking, mastitis, BST
      What happens to the males? (read about sexed semen)
      Good account of modern dairy farm here 

      Veal Calves

      Veal facts (old method)

      Industry changes in last 10 years

      Slaughter of pigs, cattle
      Transported on hot, crowded trucks
      Animals shot in head with stun gun, lose consciousness (ideally)
      Hoisted upside-down, throats slit
      Animals killed at a rate of 400 per hour
      Temple Grandin reforms: more auditing, curved chute

      some issues:  seine fishingbycatch, how fish die, dwindling stocks, endangered species
       Environmental impact
      Is Meat Green? 
      Rethinking the Meat Guzzler
      Livestock's Long Shadow 
      NUTRITION: can a vegan diet be healthy?

      1. Indifferent omnivore (eat anything tasty)
      2. Compassionate omnivore (consider the source--humane standards)
      3. Vegetarian/Compassionate (no meat, consider the source of eggs, dairy)
      4. Vegan (100% plant-based)
      Are vegetarian and vegan diets healthy?
      Expert statements on vegetarian and vegan diets
      B-12 supplementation      Vegan athletes 
      TASTE: does a vegan diet taste good?
      Did you enjoy your vegan meal?

      Thursday, March 2, 2017

      Donaldson & Kymlicka: Categories


      • midterm advice is above
      • office hours tomorrow 2-5 (Hyer 210)
      • restaurants receipts should be uploaded to Canvas (by 3/21)
      1. Singer
      2. Regan
      3. Carruthers
      4. Gruen
      5. Donaldson & Kymlicka, Zoopolis

      • right to life, liberty--require us to refrain from certain things--so these are negative rights
      • Regan says all animals (that are SOALs) have negative rights; D&K agree
      • positive rights require us to actively provide certain things for rights holders
      • Regan doesn't talk about positive rights
      • D&K say animals have positive rights too, but which rights they have depends on the political category they fall into

      1. Citizens--(a) Have secure right of residence in a particular nation; (b) have access to public spaces; (c) are those for whose sake the state governs; (d) are those who participate in political process
      2. Denizens (or "liminal denizens")--People visiting as tourists, workers, foreign students, refugees.  (liminal = "occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold"; denizen--"one that frequents a place"). Same basic negative rights as citizens, but weaker positive rights.  
      3. Foreigners (in other countries)--Same basic negative rights as citizens and denizens, but even weaker positive rights relative to us.  We have to do less for them.
      1. Animal citizens--Pets and other domesticated animals (cows, pigs, chickens, horses, etc.)--citizens because we've made them dependent on us and they have no other form of existence.  Plus they're capable of a peaceful, cooperative relationship with us.
      2. Animal denizens--Squirrels, rats, birds, raccoons, ducks, etc.--animals on the periphery of human communities.
      3. Animal foreigners--Wild animals, completely independent.
      • same basic negative rights--right to life and liberty
      • therefore no hunting, no killing for food, no harmful research and testing
      • a world very different from ours!
        • a new idea, not in Regan, Singer, or Gruen
        • they have a right to be in public spaces (Paris vs. Dallas)

        • pets should be socialized
        • should have access to medical care 
        • animal citizens should contribute to society, but no exploitation
        • non-exploitative:  contribute manure, sheep grazing a field, backyard chickens for eggs, sheep for wool if shorn humanely  (other rights authors: must be exploitative because they can't consent)
        • exploitative:  most farming and research; using animals as guide dogs and other assistance animals

          • They are drawn to human communities but don't have to be "let in" as citizens
          • Still have basic negative rights

          Gruen: Entangled Empathy


          • Midterm advice is at tab above.  Midterm is on 3/9.  I will answer questions about the midterm next time (if you have any).  I will also have extra office hours on Wednesday 3/8, 2-5.
          • Speciesism: The Movie is showing on Monday 3/6 at 6 pm in the Hughes Trigg Forum.  You can receive 5 points for going and turning in a page of notes on 3/7.  The students who came and talked about it said there would be food.
          • Next time (3/7):  Professor Amy Freund will come and talk about the moral status of animals as depicted in art.  Art is another "way of knowing."  This will be interesting!

          A little more on Carruthers

          • Imagine you are sitting around the table, hammering out the rules for a future society.  You're purely self-interested, seeking peace and security, and reluctant to give up too much freedom.  You're behind "the veil of ignorance," so don't know who you'll be in the future society--male or female, black or white, gay or straight, animal-lover or animal-farmer, etc.  
          • Carruthers says you will grant rights to all humans, both rational agents (like the people around the table) and others (babies, "senile" old people).  
          • He says you will grant no rights to any animals.
          • What do you think?  Will you accord any degree of moral standing to any animals? If you say NO you agree with Carruthers.  If you say YES, then (a) what degree of moral standing, and (b) which animals will have it? 

          The Big Picture
          1. Peter Singer, 1975, Animalist, Utilitarian
          2. Tom Regan, 1984,  Animalist, Rights View (family quarrel with Singer)
          3. Peter Carruthers, 2011, Anti-Animalist (against Regan)
          4. Lori Gruen, 2015, Animalist (family quarrel with Singer and Regan)
          5. Donaldson & Kymlicka, 2016, Animalist (adding to Regan)
          Lori Gruen -- Gruen, annotated
          1. Standard approaches to ethics: (Singer, Regan, McMahan, etc.)
          2. What's wrong with these approaches: (a) too abstract, (b) realities ignored, (c) alienating, robotic, (d) no focus on context and institutions, (e) hero-victim duality
          3. Standard approaches to animal ethics: the faults above, plus (f) too much focus on human-animal similarities, not enough on human-animal differences
          4. The right approach:  entangled empathy and care ethics
          5. What is entangled empathy? (from chap. 2); also, video
          • empathy vs. sympathy: empathy makes you "feel with" whereas sympathy makes you feel separate and above
          • empathy vs. contagion: empathy is cognitive and controlled, contagion is automatic
          • empathy vs. projection: empathy involves understanding what the other feels, projection involves imagining how you would feel in the same situation 
          • entangled empathy:  you are involved, you can be affected and changed