Abstract

Humanely Killed? Jeff Johnson St. Catherine University, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Standard philosophical approaches to the issue of eating animals who are thought to have been humanely killed typically turn on decisions around the issue of moral status or on weighing benefits and harms of killing. Rather than pursuing these lines of inquiry, I bring out circumstances that have gotten lost in thinking we can take moral cover under the idea that farmed animals are killed humanely. In thinking about whether farmed animals have been killed humanely, we are asked to focus on the whether the deaths of these animals are painful. But much more is involved when we attend to other cases in which animals are thought to have been killed humanely. In view of these discrepancies, I argue that it is much more difficult than we might suppose to take moral cover under the idea that farmed animals can be killed humanely.

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