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Freeganism: a (cautious) defense
Ethicists often assume that animal protectionist principles (including animal rights principles) commit us to veganism. But “unusual eaters” and “new omnivores” argue that animal protectionist principles permit or even oblige us to be freegans, here understood as people who, though mostly vegan, eat animal products that would otherwise go to waste. This is a conclusion that animal protectionists may want to resist. In this chapter, Josh Milburn canvasses six sets of critiques of freeganism: 1) That animal products aren’t food; 2) That animal products are unappealing; 3) That championing freeganism makes for bad activism; 4) That it’s wrong to benefit from the wrongdoing of others; 5) That we should donate, rather than eat, waste animal products; and 6) That eating meat disrespects animal corpses. Milburn concludes that though these challenges can speak in favor of veganism, the case for new omnivore freeganism remains compelling in many circumstances. In closing, Milburn turns to the common ground between new omnivores, unusual eaters, and strict vegans, asking what this debate about the ethics of diet might mean for the political question of future food systems.
British Academy (grant number PF19\100101)
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- International Relations, Politics and History
Published inNew Omnivorism and Strict Veganism: Critical Perspectives
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)
Publisher statementThis is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in New Omnivorism and Strict Veganism: Critical Perspectives on 13 October 2023, available online: http://www.routledge.com/9781032066035.