McMahan on natural evils

Some months ago, ethicist Jeff McMahan published an interesting piece on predation in the NY Times with the title “The Meat Eaters”.

The comments on the paper in the Times were terribly poor and simplistic (many of them by people who had clearly not read the paper, or had not really understood the view presented in it).  However, a very interesting discussion on the paper took place at the web of the On the Human project.

McMahan has also written a response in the Times in which he explains in more detail the kind of view he has been arguing for.

Many blogs and sites have started to discuss the paper. Some of them just want to attack McMahan. This happens, for example, in the case of the anti-animal rights and speciesist blog The Unvegan, in which McMahan is portraited as “a villain” (together with others who criticize the discrimination of nonhuman animales).

However, many other sites have tackled the issue seriously. For instance, you may be interested in taking a look at the following ones:

Practical Ethics

The Brooks Blog

Vegan Soapbox

Sentient Developments

The Tree Riesener

This piece is also available in Spanish in the blog Pensamiento vegano. You can download it here.

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3 thoughts on “McMahan on natural evils

  1. Sorry, I just don’t think supporting the destruction of carnivorous animals so that all herbivorous animals over-eat and starve themselves can be considered in support of animal rights. Life requires balance. Without it we all die.

  2. I think that if we are able to reduce suffering and death, that is a good thing to do. That’s the reason why I’m vegan.
    For the same reason, if ate some point we’re able to reduce suffering and death in nature, it would be a good thing to do it. That’s Jeff McMahan’s point, and I have to agree with him.
    I understand that if one has different aims, and is concerned with different things, that person will oppose veganism as well as this idea.

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