Response to Puppies, Pigs and People

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Summary In Puppies, Pigs and People, Alastair Norcross presents us with the controversial question of whether or not it is morally reprimandable to support factory farming. He compares the treatment of farm animals with several hypothetical situations that most people would find appalling and not support. The first situation follows a man named Fred and his desire to taste chocolate after an accident damaged his godiva gland, rendering him unable to properly experience chocolate. The only way that he can taste chocolate like before is to consume cocoamone, which has only been found to be produced in puppies that are exposed to extended periods of torture and suffering. Fred creates an extraction lab containing 26 caged, violently abused puppies. Naturally, everybody is expected to be upset with Fred’s behavior. Norcross compares the condition that these puppies endured to the animals that Americans consume from factory farms. He goes on to state that there aren’t any legitimate morally significant difference in how Americans treat their future food compared to how Fred treated his tortured puppies. Norcross compares the behavior of meat eating Americans to Fred’s behavior. The first point is that Americans do not directly torture the meat that they consume, whereas Fred was directly mutilating the puppies. Another difference is that some people are unaware of the conditions that the animals on factory farms endure, but due to online resources and movements more and more people are becoming aware of the animal’s treatment so that is becoming an unreasonable excuse. The next commonly used defense for eating meat is that one person can not make a difference. The animals will be tortured either way, so one person not eating meat will not save enough lives to make a difference. This excuse is countered with the argument that if everybody who thought that they couldn’t
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