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Stephen states that: "If an animal is brought into existence to be eaten, the farmer’s moral responsibility is no more than to ensure that it is well treated before slaughter. The permission to kill such an animal follows from the fact that its raison d’etre is to be eaten. It wouldn’t exist otherwise." A major flaw with this argument is that the farmer does not truly bring the animal into existence. In order to do that, the farmer would have to create the animal from scratch, including creating the atoms and cells that are necessary for the animal to begin existence. Rather, the animal is part of a chain of life that goes back to its most distant ancestors. The fact that the particular sperm cell and particular egg cell may never have united without intervention by the farmer in no way lessens the degree to which the animal is part of a continuing chain of life. Because the farmer does not create the life of the animal, the farmer disrespects that life with the cruelty of slaughter.
Toggle Commented Oct 3, 2010 on Jeff McMahan on Vegetarianism at philosophy bites
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Oct 3, 2010