- The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics
- Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental Philosophy, and the Ethics of Food
- Farming, the Virtues, and Agrarian Philosophy
- Food, the Environment, and Global Justice
- Genetically Modified Food
- Local Food Movements: Differing Conceptions of Food, People, and Change
- Concerning Cattle: Behavioral and Neuroscientific Evidence for Pain, Desire, and Self-Consciousness
- The New Hunter and Local Food
- Ethics for Fish
- The Ethical Basis for Veganism
- Arguments for Consuming Animal Products
- Consumer Choice and Collective Impact
- Religious Dietary Practices and Secular Food Ethics; or, How to Hope that Your Food Choices Make a Difference Even When You Reasonably Believe That They Don’t
- The Clean Plate Club? Food Waste and Individual Responsibility
- Racial Imperialism and Food Traditions
- Food Sovereignty, Justice, and Indigenous Peoples: An Essay on Settler Colonialism and Collective Continuance
- Food, Fairness, and Global Markets
- Multi-Issue Food Activism
- Public Justification and the Politics of Agriculture
- Paternalism, Food, and Personal Freedom
- Deceptive Advertising and Taking Responsibility for Others
- Food Labor Ethics
- The Moral Burdens of Temporary Farmwork
- Eat Y’Self Fitter: Orthorexia, Health, and Gender
- Food Insecurity: Dieting as Ideology, as Oppression, and as Privilege
- Shame, Seduction, and Character in Food Messaging
- Obesity and Responsibility
- I Eat, Therefore I Am: Disgust and the Intersection of Food and Identity
- Morality and Aesthetics of Food
- Food Choices and Moral Character
- The Etiquette of Eating
- The Ethics of Being a Foodie
- Who You Are Is What You Eat: Food in Ancient Thought
- Food Ethics in the Middle Ages
- You Are What You Eat, But Should You Eat What You Are? Modern Philosophical Dietetics
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter considers the question of whether it is ethically justified to eat fish. Fish present a particularly interesting case with regard to the ethics of eating animals, since they are neurologically and physiologically very unlike human beings and since fishing is deeply integrated into many human cultures. The chapter discusses the scientific evidence available at present and concludes that it offers positive, if incomplete, support for the thesis that fish do indeed feel pain and for the further thesis that some fish have relatively rich mental lives. The chapter then considers the challenges facing the construction of a plausible moral principle that would allow humans to eat fish based on wild-catching or cultural considerations. On the basis of these considerations, both scientific and moral, it concludes that, if there are good ethical arguments against eating terrestrial animals, these are likely to extend to the case of fish as well.
Eliot Michaelson is a Lecturer at King’s College London.
Andrew Reisner is Senior Lecturer and Docent in Practical Philosophy at the Uppsala University Department of Philosophy.
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