The Future of Meat

Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft at The Hedgehog Review:

In addition to resources, the advocates of cultured meat have a philosophy ready to hand. Many of them are self-described utilitarians, readers of the works of philosopher Peter Singer, in particular his 1975 book Animal Liberation. In that book, Singer followed classical utilitarian philosophers like Jeremy Bentham by arguing that the way to determine the moral standing of animals is not by assessing their intellectual capacities relative to those of most humans but by asking if animals can suffer as humans do. Answering that question in the affirmative, Singer suggested that it was “speciesist” to deny moral standing to the suffering of animals. Many regard Animal Liberation as the bible of the contemporary animal rights movement, despite the fact that the book does not defend the rights of animals per se. Contrary to the thinking of some other philosophers concerned with animals, such as Tom Regan, Singer does not assert the inherent rights of animals, or (in what philosophers term a “deontological” fashion) define the maltreatment or even the use of animals as morally wrong. “I am a vegetarian,” Singer has written, “because I am a utilitarian.”3 Rather than focus on the inherent worth of a human or animal life, a utilitarian will ask how that life is contoured by experiences of suffering or happiness.

more here.

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