I can’t join Al in his celebration of barbeque, an enthusiasm for which I suspect is shared by not a few Faculty Lounge readers, barbeque being but the culmination of a barbaric ritual that commences with the industrialized slaughter and sacrifice of nonhuman animals. There are sundry religious, ethical, ecological, health, and economic arguments against the eating of animals and thus for adopting vegetarianism or veganism as an alternative diet (I’ll leave it to Professors Michael Dorf, Sherry Colb, and Neil Buchanan to argue for the merits of veganism over vegetarianism). A sample of some of the arguments are found below:
- Adams, Carol J. The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory. New York: Continuum, 1990.
- Adams, Carol J. Living Among Meat Eaters: The Vegetarian’s Survival Handbook. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2001.
- DeGrazia, David. Taking Animals Seriously: Mental Life and Moral Status. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
- Fox, Michael Allen. Deep Vegetarianism. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1999.
- Linzey, Andrew. Why Animal Suffering Matters: Philosophy, Theology, and Practical Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
- Midgley, Mary. Animals and Why They Matter. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1983.
- Regan, Tom. The Case for Animal Rights. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2nd ed., 2004.
- Salt, Henry S. Animals’ Rights Considered in Relation to Social Progress. London: Centaur Press, 1980 (first published in 1892).
- Schwartz, Richard H. Judaism and Vegetarianism. New York: Lantern Books, revised ed., 2001.
- Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation. New York: The New York Review of Books, 2nd ed., 1990.
- Sunstein, Cass R. and Martha C. Nussbaum, eds. Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
For Buddhist perspectives, see Shabkar.org, “a non-sectarian website dedicated to vegetarianism as a way of life for Buddhists of all schools. The site takes its name from Shabkar Tsodruk Rangdrol (1781-1851), the great Tibetan yogi who espoused the ideals of vegetarianism.”
For a Christian perspective, see the works of Andrew Linzey (above), the Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.
For an Islamic perspective, see Islamic Concern.com.
One of my favorite blogs devoted to ethical and legal topics concerning nonhuman animals is Animal Blawg, “a blog [that] focuses on animal law, ethics and policy. It provides a forum for community and collegiality as well as debate and the exchange of ideas. Founded by Pace Law School professors, David N. Cassuto, Luis E. Chiesa and law student, Suzanne McMillan, the blog is now maintained by David Cassuto. Contributors include academics, practitioners, and law students, as well as other interested members of the animal advocacy community.”
An early version (2008) of my bibliography for “animal ethics, rights, and law” is found here.