The Philosophy of Vegetarianism by Daniel A. Dombrowski

By Daniel A. Dombrowski

The concept that it really is morally flawed to devour animals held sway for approximately 1000 years between the most well-liked historical Greek philosophers, together with Pythagoras, Empedocles, Theophrastus, Plotinus, Plutarch, Porphyry, and, possibly, Plato. the assumption then died out for nearly seventeen-hundred years. because the Nineteen Seventies, even though, there was a resurgence of curiosity in vegetarianism, marked via energetic debates and the emergence of a considerable literature within the type of scholarly books and articles.

Daniel A. Dombrowski makes use of the instruments and insights of those modern debates as a way to greater comprehend the strengths and weaknesses of historic philosophical vegetarianism. He additionally makes use of the knowledge of the Greek vegetarians as an Archimedean element from which to critique either the rivals and the defenders of latest philosophical vegetarianism. The e-book contains an annotated bibliography of the present debates during this burgeoning box of scholarship.

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The question is, why does Descartes sustain the speciesist position to the extent that he does? It may well be that blind adherence to tradition, if not superstition, is at work. 32 The problem is how to account for the apparent suffering of animals in a world governed by God. St. 33 Malebranche quite ex- Page 14 plicitly (and Descartes implicitly) solved the problem by suggesting that because suffering is the result of Adam's sin, and inasmuch as animals are not descended from Adam, animals do not suffer.

This passage makes it clear that the Republic is a created city whose real creator is the needs of people living in an age of iron (also 423A). How does this relate to the issue of vegetarianism? Plato believed that at least some of the ancients were vegetarians, as we learn through the speech of the Athenian in the Laws (782). The question is whether Plato's peculiar belief in "golden boys" corresponds to his awareness of vegetarianism. The needed connection is found in the Statesman (26974), in the famous myth of cosmic reversal.

Although animals do not have the ennobling belief in God, many human beings do not have this belief either (nor do some men have reason), and we do not (or should not) kill and eat them. In short, Darwin thinks, the golden rule should be applied to animals. As Singer emphasizes, once the weight of evidence in favor of Darwin's theory became apparent, practically every earlier justification of man's supreme place in creation and his dominion over the animals had to be rejected. Darwin signals a revolution in our perception of animals: we are animals!

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