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date: 19 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter identifies and critically examines a standard form of argument for organic and vegan alternatives to industrial agriculture. This argument faces important objections to its empirical premises, to its presumption that there is a single food system that minimizes harm and is best for the environment, and to the presumption that the ethically best food system for us to promote is the one that would be best in ideal theory or the one that would be best from the perspective of our own society. Instead, determining which food system should be promoted arguably requires a complex global, empirical, and ethical integrated assessment that includes a proper accounting for values of global justice in nonideal theory. This proper accounting arguably recommends sustainable intensification of food systems (as it is called in the food-science literature), which is importantly distinct from contemporary systems as well as from organic, local, and/or vegan-centered alternatives.

Keywords: food, ethics, agriculture, environmental ethics, global justice, organic, locavore, vegetarianism, sustainability, sustainable intensification

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