Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals
Author: Gary Fracione + Anna Charlton · Subject: Animal Rights
Eat Like You Care puts the issue of eating animals squarely on the table. We all claim to care about animals and to regard them as having at least some moral value. We all claim to agree that it’s wrong to inflict “unnecessary” suffering and death on animals and – whatever disagreement we may have about when animal use is necessary – we all agree that the suffering and death of animals cannot be justified by human pleasure, amusement, or convenience. How can we justify the fact that we kill many billions of land animals and fish every year for food? However “humanely” we treat and kill these animals, the amount of animal suffering we cause is staggering.
Yet, no one maintains that animal foods are necessary for optimal health. Indeed, mounting empirical evidence points to animal foods being detrimental for human health. But however you evaluate that evidence, there can be no serious doubt that we can have excellent health with a vegan diet.
There is also broad consensus that animal agriculture is an ecological disaster. Animal agriculture is responsible for water pollution, air pollution, deforestation, soil erosion, inefficient use of plant protein and water, and all sorts of other environmental harms. The best justification we have for the unimaginable amount of suffering and death that we impose on animals is that they taste good. We enjoy the taste of animal foods. We enjoy sitting around a summer barbecue pit roasting the corpses of animals who had lives and deaths that were are terrible.
Eat Like You Care shows there is no difference, or at least not any difference that matters morally. Prof. Gary L. Francione and Prof. Anna Charlton argue that if you think animals matter morally – if you reject the idea that animals are just things – your own beliefs require that you stop eating animal products. There is nothing “extreme” about a vegan diet; what is extreme is the inconsistency between what we say we believe and how we act where animals are concerned.
About the Authors
Gary L. Francione is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of Law and the Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University School of Law.
Anna Charlton is Adjunct Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law. She was the co-founder and co-director (with Gary L. Francione) of the Rutgers Animal Rights Law Clinic from 1990-2000.
“Eat Like You Care is an essential, empowering read for anyone who cares about animals. This slim but compelling volume should be required reading in every high school, college classroom, faith community and social justice circle. Professors Francione & Charlton’s approach is extremely accessible, straightforward and logical, and their presentation of the moral arguments for ethical veganism can only be described as airtight. A book with truly international scope and appeal, it has already been translated into nine languages since its initial publication in 2013 (apparently with more to come), including Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian and Russian. Indeed, “Eat Like You Care” would appear destined to become a modern classic, not merely in the realm of animal ethics, but in the literature of social justice and moral philosophy as well. Most highly recommended, without hesitation or equivocation.” – Tracy McDonnell, Amazon
“I purchased this book and it answered every question I had been struggling with. Especially on how to communicate with those in my life who defend eating animals. I became vegan only about six months ago and to me, it is how I should have lived the first 53 years of my life. I have never eaten and felt better and I am always surprised on how everyone reacts around me. Sometimes I just don’t know how to respond at all or don’t know how to respond correctly. I want to be a kind and gentle vegan and this book is truly making it better for me.” – Heike, Amazon
“An excellent debunking of common ideas we impose on ourselves about the morality of eating meat and the excuses we create to believe we can’t and shouldn’t go vegan excellent book for the vegan who is doing outreach and is confronted with inquiries.” – Kathy B., Amazon