Vegetarianism and the Other Weight Problem

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In his article "Vegetarianism and the Other Weight Problem", James Rachels argues that meat eating is immoral and it is a moral duty to be vegetarian. In order to discuss the problems and come up with his conclusions, Rachels considers two arguments for vegetarianism. -------------------------------------------------

The first argument is one appealing to the interests that humans have in conserving food resources. He starts out by giving figures to illustrate the American overabundance of food as many American households are throwing out garbage about ten percent of the food they buy every day. As he states, it is immoral to buy and waste food; it is practical and reasonable for us to shop more carefully, buy somewhat less, not waste the food surplus and give extra money to buy food for starving people in order to help relieve famine. Rachels admits that shipments of food alone will not solve the problems of famine; however, there is no conclusive evidence that the situation is hopeless. In fact, there have been positive improvements in certain countries. He believes that combining short-term famine relief efforts and long-range population control programs can considerably reduce the tragedy of starvation. Another matter that he discusses is the inefficiency of the grain growing process as a large percentage of grain produced in the United States is fed to animals raised for slaughter. If this massive quantity of grain currently fed to livestock were consumed directly by people, a great number of people could be fed. We are indeed wasting a great deal of grain in this manner; instead we can totally eat portion of the grain and use the rest to relieve hunger. -------------------------------------------------

His second argument is appealing directly to the interests of the animals themselves. Cruelty to...
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