Almost every study program at an American University includes a course on applied ethics. Peter Singer has literally written the book on Practical Ethics and his book has ben the course text for applied ethics in many courses. Most of the book has an Utilitarian slant to it in that Actions are right or wrong depending on the extent to which they promote happiness and prevent pain.
Ethics matter because it can often become hard to know what the right thing to do is. Ethics guide us in our relationships and life. Adherence to ethics makes the search less prone to error’s. Lying in ones research is simply unethical and causes issues with research built on the lies. Ethics matters in business as well as research it is unethical for a business to cause pain to another person until it isn’t think of all the military contractors in the world and the militaries themselves causing pain is a big business but who and when and how you cause the pain becomes ethical quagmires. Deontological ethics would state that causing pain is wrong and should not be done however Utilitarian would say that fi we harmed few people to save hundreds it is not unethical to do so. This is where ethics becomes a little “sticky”
The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the fewCaptain Spock Wrath of Khan
It is best practice to not paint a person or place into a situation where they would ever feel that harming someone is their best option.
I consider eating animal based protein and ethics. Is it ethical to eat animal based protein? I don’t think it is. Not on a utilitarian level “the joy I receive when I eat a burger or fried chicken cannot be greater than the death of a sentient being.. Eating animal based protein cannot be ethical on a deontological level either. It is not acceptable to kill a living sentient being.
Why then did I go to the grocery store and pick up a pound and a half of chicken to cook tonight? Am I an immoral killer? I don’t think so but I will be eating chicken tonight that I will cook. I think for me there are a few reasons that I committed this perversion. Please bear in mind that none of the reasons stand for proper justification for my diet. What follows is just my thought process
- It was convenient I know it is awful and harsh but the truth often is. I buy animal based protein and eat it because it is convenient. The world to include the United States is a food centric culture and the mains staple of our food is animal based protein there are millions of recipes and restaurants for animal based protein but plant based protein options while they are growing are in short supply
- It was cheap Animal based protein is highly subsidized and therefore at the point of purchase average 10 – 20 percent less than plant based protein
- It is cultural I was taught in the church that animals do not have a soul! Crazy right? The elephant that cries for a baby until a group of people rescue doesn’t have a soul? What in the world.. Rene Descrates said that animals cannot feel pain. This is incorrect animals can and do feel pain. There was a study done that proved that mice can feel empathy. All the facts about animals and their place in this world fly in the face of our culture. Animals are sentient beings no matter what or how grandma cooked
I am morally inclined to become a vegetarian but it will be difficult to beat the barriers of entry. What then should I do?
Start slowly and do at least one night a week when I do not eat animal based protein (this will not be tonight as I have already bought the chicken).
My hope is that one meal will become two and so on. Give myself encouragement and rope in others.Roping in others can be hard to do without coming across as judgemental on them and that s the last thing I want to do to family however I cook most of the meals at the house and I think if I can cook tasty filling vegetarian options I can find some cheerleaders among my brood. I have already tried with black bean burgers and they are a family favorite.
Be deliberate, I cooked the black bean burgers on whim not for a moral reason but now I am charged with a moral reason and will be deliberate with at the very least on meatless day a week.
Remember my why. Every time I consider eating meat on my meatless days I will watch the video of the elephant crying for help of people when its baby is trapped I think this will work to steel my resolution.