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 Powerpoint

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: http://www.smithfieldfoods.com/responsible-operations/animal-care (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