Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Speaking of ...

Rutgers philosophy professor Jeff McMahan, you can listen to a past Philosophy Bites podcast of him speaking about vegetarianism .... here There was an interesting part right at the end of the podcast ....

Q: It's clear that you think that ... everybody in the West should be a vegetarian - well, why aren't they?

McMahan: Eating animals seems to most people to be in their interest because they like it. Unlike other victimized populations, animals can't protest and they can't explain to us why what we're doing is wrong. And most people don't confront the arguments for vegetarianism. And even those people who do hear the arguments, I think find their own practices reinforced by the behavior of all those around them. So if you look around yourself you see these people you know, these models of good people, and they're eating meat. How could it be wrong when everybody is doing it? Well, I think that's the way that Southerners thought in the American South in the first half of the nineteenth century about slavery. It was in their interests to have slaves, they constructed a lot of feeble rationalizations, that everybody else was doing ti, all the nice people they knew kept slaves. And they managed to, by reinforcing each others behavior, perpetuate the practice until, from the outside, they were forced to stop it.


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