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718 Words Mar 4th, 2013 3 Pages
Environmental Ethics

Environmental ethics is that branch of philosophy dealing with the major ethical questions regarding the relationships between humans and the environment. This includes issues such as biodiversity, wildlife management, ecological preservation, hunting practices, farming techniques, and food regulations.

Emergence of the Field

Environmental ethics emerged as a distinct field in in early 1970s. Among its driving forces were the environmental concerns regarding the dependability of our society on natural resources as well as the threat that our use of those resources poses to the integrity of the ecosystem; it should also be noted that the increased attention to an ecological perspective on life was promoted
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Cattle, pork, and chicken farms in contemporary
America are an example of the unjustified torturing that humans inflict over other species in order to provide cheap foods.

In Animal Liberation Singer advocates vegetarianism as a antidote to the rampant speciesism of our society. It is unethical to inflict unnecessary sufferance, so we should avoid it by all means that are necessary to us. Vegetarianism seems to be the best solution, according to Singer.

Singer’s argument has been criticized under several points. For example, eating plants does not imply that no animal sufferance will be involved, as other animals may depend on those plants for their survival. So, a deer may use a crop field to hide its children so that, once the crops are harvested, the children’s life will be at risk. There is no free lunch, really. Nonetheless, Singer’s argument contributed to show the significance of a non-anthropocentric ethical perspective to Western societies. The needs for such a perspective are not just rooted in our diets, but more generally in our relationship to the environment. Let’s see an example of this sort.

Main TopicsEnvironmental ethics comprises several of the most relevant questions some contemporary societies are facing: to what extent should our society invest in preserving biodiversity and what are the best means to do so? Just think about the massive loss
of

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