This week’s assignment focuses on R. G. Frey’s counter of Peter Singer’s “All Animals Are Equal.” While this is only an excerpt from Frey’s longer work, it mostly tells a complete story. Thoughtfully considering Frey’s argument in the context of our argument model is key. Only then can you develop your counter (step 2) and your objection (step 3).
Directions: Explain Frey’s argument and give a single counterargument against it. Foresee a possible objection to your argument and overcome it. Include an introductory paragraph and thesis statement. Title it, double-space it, 1″ margins and 12 point TNR font only. Two full pages minimum, three full pages maximum.
Along with your paper detailed above, you must also turn in an outline of your argument in the simple format detailed in class. Make sure that your outlined argument matches (but obviously has less detail) the argument you give in your longer assignment.
“. . . I do not know how many people in the period since 1983 have become vegetarians on the moral grounds canvassed or, indeed, how many people have actually engaged these moral arguments in the consideration of what to eat; since much of the technical work on the arguments has been done by philosophers, and not all that many people read philosophical material, I assume the number is not all that great. But allow it to be many; the plain fact is that, at a time when the number of moral vegetarians is conceded to have risen by some percentage, the number of animals commercially farmed has risen by a staggering number (fifteen billion in 1983 to twenty-five billion in 2004, at the time of this writing). At a time when the very act of becoming a vegetarian was being touted as the “most effective” step one could take to do something about painful rearing practices, and as more people were taking that step, the number of animals being so reared has skyrocketed to a figure today that is simply gigantic. Even when we add together all those acts of abstention, the number of animals commercially farmed has exploded in the face of the very steps that were supposed causally to eliminate, or at least negatively affect, that farming and its practices. The entire argument, in short, has been overtaken by the sheer magnitude of increase in the number of animals farmed. “
Excerpt from R. G. Frey’s “Utilitarianism and Moral Vegetarianism Again: Protest or Effectiveness?” in Steve F. Sapontzis’ Food for Thought: The Debate over Eating Meat. Prometheus Books 2004