Animal Functionalism Analysis

1063 Words5 Pages
Modern animal agriculture, particularly intensive industrialised farming and the systematic slaughtering of animals, is a pressing ethical issue that deserves critical analysis. In Australia alone between 520 and 620 million animals are slaughtered in abattoirs every year for the purpose of human consumption (ABS). If we pause and ponder the scale of the systems involved in such practices, and the shear amount of animals killed, Heidegger's (1977) evocative assertion that “agriculture is now a mechanized food industry, in essence the same as the manufacture of corpses in the gas chambers and death camps, the same thing as the blockades and reduction of countries to famine, the same thing as the manufacture of hydrogen bombs” seems quite fitting, and ought to provoke us into contemplation. Thus, the topic which I will consider here is: what are the key components that allow and perpetuate modern industrial animal exploitation? In order to deal with this topic, I will propose three projects using distinct, yet complementary, paradigms. Namely, Marxist, Structural Functionalist, and Hermeneutic paradigms, which I regard as capable of elucidating the suggested issue. Furthermore, I shall offer an analysis of each proposal, and finally, will discuss how the different paradigms relate to, and complement, each other.

Project One: Marxism

The aim of this project is to critically examine the way in which animals in the food industry are viewed and treated, focusing on the notion
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