On Saturday June 10, 2017, APPLE is hosting a conference on animal ethics and food ethics. Animal ethicists have always had a lot to say about food, but to date it has largely focused on a single issue: namely, whether it is unethical to raise and kill animals for food, and if so, whether there is an ethical imperative to adopt a vegan diet. This is clearly of fundamental importance, since most humans’ primary contact with animals is through eating them, and animal agriculture is responsible for the death and suffering of tens of billions of sentient animals every year. However, we believe that animal ethicists cannot and should not limit their engagement with food to “merely” the question of veganism. How a society feeds itself has profound implications for a wide range of social and political values, and veganism by itself does not ensure that a society’s foodways are consistent with justice for either humans or animals. Vegan food products can be produced in ways that are environmentally unsustainable, exploitative of humans, unsafe, or (indirectly) harmful to animals. The issue of veganism within animal ethics therefore needs to be situated within a larger framework of food ethics and food politics, beyond condemning the eating of animal “products” and animal agriculture. Fortunately, academic and popular interest in food has exploded, and there are now many monographs, collections and even journals devoted to “food ethics”, “food justice” and the “philosophy of food”. We believe that there is enormous promise in bringing animal ethics and food ethics together.
Confirmed speakers and conference titles:
- Bob Fischer (Texas State University): “If Nothing Matters, There’s Nothing to Save: Nonideal Ethics and Arguments Against Eating Animals“
- Valéry Giroux (Université de Montréal): “Veganism as a Social Justice Movement: The Efficacy of Our Individual Commitment to the Ideology of Animal Liberation“
- David Kaplan (University of North Texas): “Is Meat Disgusting?“
- Andy Lamey (University of California, San Diego): “The Dinner of Double Effect“
- Josh Milburn (Queen’s University): “Just Fodder: Ethics in the Garden: Feeding Animal Friends and Foes“
- Victoria Millious and Samantha King (Queen’s University):”Paraveganism: Using Scholarly Interviews to Conceptualize a Political Food Framework“
- Kelly Struthers Montford (University of Alberta/University of Toronto) and Chloe Taylor (University of Alberta): “(Bey)On(d) Edibility: Towards a Nonspeciesist Food Ontology“
- Clare Palmer (Texas A&M University): “Should We Provide the Bear Necessities? Climate Change, Wild Animals and the Ethics of Supplementary Feeding“
- Jeff Sebo (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill): “The Future of Meat“
There is no conference fee and all are welcome, but space is limited, so if you would like to attend, or have any questions, please contact the workshop co-organizers: Josh Milburn (email@example.com) and/or Will Kymlicka (firstname.lastname@example.org).