If Veganism Is Not a Choice: The Moral Psychology of Possibilities in Animal Ethics

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Title: If Veganism Is Not a Choice: The Moral Psychology of Possibilities in Animal Ethics
Authors: Panizza, Silvia
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/11539
Date: 16-Jan-2020
Online since: 2020-09-08T10:40:51Z
Abstract: In their daily practices, many ethical vegans choose what to eat, wear, and buy among a range that is limited to the exclusion of animal products. Rather than considering and then rejecting the idea of using such products, doing so often does not occur to them as a possibility at all. In other cases, when confronted with the possibility of consuming animal products, vegans have claimed to reject it by saying that it would be impossible for them to do so. I refer to this phenomenon as ‘moral impossibility’. An analysis of moral impossibility in animal ethics shows that it arises when one’s conception of ‘what animals are’ shifts—say through encounter with other animals. It also arises when individuals learn more about animals and what happens to them in production facilities. This establishes a link between increased knowledge, understanding, and imaginative exploration on the one hand, and the exclusion of the possibility of using animals as resources on the other. Taking moral impossibility in veganism seriously has two important consequences: one is that the debate around veganism needs to shift from choice and decision, to a prior analysis of concepts and moral framing; the other is that moral psychology is no longer seen as empirical psychology plus ethical analysis, but the contents of psychological findings are understood as being influenced and framed by moral reflection.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: MDPI
Journal: Animals
Volume: 10
Issue: 1
Copyright (published version): 2020 the Author
Keywords: Moral psychologyVeganismMoral possibilitiesImaginationDecision-makingOught implies can
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Philosophy Research Collection

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