Alistair Norcross describes a thought experiment centered on Fred, who tortures puppies to be able to enjoy chocolate. I think that Fred’s behavior is immoral since he has a clear understanding of what he does to the puppies as a form of injustice to them, but yet he does it now and then. He keeps puppies for six months and then butchers then while holding them upside-down and on top of that performs series of mutilations on them without any form of anesthesia. I think that the level of torture and suffering that the puppies go through is not justifiable to warrant Fred only to extract cocoamone from their brain. The puppies do not have to undergo all the pain and suffering only to satisfy one person’s desire of tasting chocolate. Despite the reasons he gives being weighty, the dignity life and respect of puppy’s rights also matter. According to Norcross, if we find Fred’s behavior immoral, we are bound to believe that the consumption of factory-farmed meat is also immoral based on similar reasons. I tend to disagree with the statement based on some ideas I have on the issue. I think that me consuming factory-farmed meat is different from Fred’s behavior. He is directly involved in raising and torturing puppies and thus has the ultimate choice of whether to continue or stop and in turn, prevent the suffering of the puppies. However, for my case, I do not have control of what happens for I to get the meat for consumption. Even though I were to stop eating the meat, I would not stop the suffering of the animals involved because other people would still consume them. I understand and realize the level of suffering underwent by the animals for consumers to get the meat. However, my efforts would not save the situation, and I would rather continue taking the meat. If Fred stops extracting cocoamone from puppies, the torturing and suffering stop, but if I stop taking meat, no significant impact on animal suffering is realized. Garett Hardin argues that the way to avoid environmental catastrophe has fewer children, and this we should discourage other people from having so many children, which I agree. We are living on a planet where almost every resource is being exploited to its maximum for human existence. It seems as though humans have taken dominance over the entire ecosystem and nothing else matters to us other than our existence, which is regrettable. As Hardin argues, having fewer children can help to avert environmental catastrophe since we will use fewer resources than we do and also avoid exerting pressure on the existing resources. Much of the environmental challenges are results of human activities and increased human population. I think that having fewer children and discouraging others from having so many of them is a measure headed in the positive direction. However, it is not the ultimate solution, but also requires a change of human behavior towards the environment. James Garvey argues that consistency is “near the heart of reflection” in moral reasoning (99). Consistency in applying moral principles means having pre-reflection in everyday decisions. It implies giving equal consideration to all the involved issues when deciding to do something and applying moral principles to all people and circumstances in the same way. There is a need for moral connection on all the decisions made about the environment. Consistency is important to moral reasoning since it helps to have decisions and actions that are duly considered and with a clear direction for practice. Consistency ensures that similar actions are taken by all parties to achieve a common goal for the benefit of all parties involved. On the issue of environment, consistency in moral reasoning ensures that decisions are not made to favor humans only, but to serve the interests of both the environment and humans. [WORD COUNT: 642]
Norcross, Alastair. “Puppies, pigs, and people: Eating meat and marginal cases.” Philosophical Perspectives, 18, Ethics, 2004; 230-245.
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