What Policy Should Be Adopted to Curtail the Negative Global Health Impacts Associated with the Consumption of Farmed Animal Products?
- 238 Downloads
The negative global health impacts (GHIs) associated with the consumption of farmed animal products are wide-ranging and morally significant. This paper considers four options that policy-makers might adopt to curtail the negative GHIs associated with the consumption of farmed animal products. These options are: 1. to introduce a ban on the consumption of farmed animal products; 2. to increase the costs of farmed animal products; 3. to educate people about the negative GHIs associated with the consumption of farmed animal products; and 4. to introduce a qualified ban on the consumption of farmed animal products. I argue that the fourth option is the most effective and, provided that policy-makers think that the negative GHIs associated with the consumption of farmed animal products are sufficiently great and that a total ban would be unfair, it is the political strategy that must be preferred over the available alternatives.
KeywordsJustice Health Diet Climate change Animals
Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the Association for Legal and Social Philosophy (ALSP) conference (University of Edinburgh, 2–4 July 2009), the Institute of Health and Society Seminar Series (Newcastle University, 6 February 2008), the ‘global justice’ conferences organised by the ALSP (University of Nottingham, 27–29 March 2008) and the Global Studies Association (University of Birmingham, 3–5 September 2007), the health promotion ethics conference (University of Ghent, 18–20 September 2007) and the public health ethics conference (Birmingham University, 16–18 May 2007). I would like to thank participants at these conferences and two anonymous reviewers of an earlier draft for the feedback I received.
- Bell, Derek. (forthcoming). Does anthropogenic climate change violate human rights? Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. Google Scholar
- Caney, Simon. 2006. Cosmopolitan justice, rights and global climate change. Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 19: 255–278.Google Scholar
- Compassion in World Farming. 2007. Global warning: climate change and farm animal welfare. Godalming: Compassion in World Farming.Google Scholar
- Confalonieri, Ulisses, Betinna Menne, Rais Akhtar, Kristie Ebi, Maria Hauengue, Sari Kovats, Boris Revich, and Alistair Woodward. 2007. Human Health. In Climate change 2007: Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ed. Martin Parry, Osvaldo Canziani, Jean Pultikof, Paul van der Linden, and Clair Hanson, 391–431. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- DeAngelo, Benjamin, Francisco de la Chesnaye, Robert Beach, Allan Sommer, and Brian Murray. 2006. Methane and nitrous oxide mitigation in agriculture. The Energy Journal special issue 3: 89–108.Google Scholar
- Deckers, Jan. 2010. Negative GHIs, the right to health protection, and future generations. Unpublished paper.Google Scholar
- Earth Trends. 2003. http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/country_profiles/cli_cou_826.pdf. Accessed 10/11/09.
- Garnett, Tara. 2008. Cooking up a storm: Food, greenhouse gas emissions and our changing climate. UK: University of Surrey: Food Climate Research Network, Centre for Environmental Strategy.Google Scholar
- Goodin, Robert. 1991. Utility and the good. In A companion to ethics, ed. Peter Singer, 241–248. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 2007a. Climate change 2007: Synthesis report. Contribution of working groups I, II, and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core writing team: Raj Pachauri and Andy Reisinger (eds.)]. Geneva: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.Google Scholar
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 2007b. Climate Change 2007: synthesis report. Summary for policymakers. http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr_spm.pdf. Accessed 13/7/09.
- Janson, Christer. 2004. The effect of passive smoking on respiratory health in children and adults. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 8: 510–516.Google Scholar
- Lakoff, George. 2004. Don’t think of an elephant! Know your values and frame the debate. White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing.Google Scholar
- Lloyd-Williams, Ffion, Martin O’Flaherty, Modi Mwatsama, Christopher Birt, Robin Ireland, and Simon Capewell. 2008. Estimating the cardiovascular mortality burden attributable to the European Common Agricultural Policy on dietary saturated fats. Bulletin of the World Health Association 7: 535–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lock, Karen, and Joceline Pomerleau. 2005. Fruit and vegetable policy in the European Union: Its effects on the burden of cardiovascular disease. Brussels: European Heart Network.Google Scholar
- Pogge, Thomas. 2002. World poverty and human rights. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Raz, Joseph. 1986. The morality of freedom. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
- Rees, William. 2006. Why conventional economic logic won’t protect biodiversity. In Gaining ground: In pursuit of ecological sustainability, ed. David Lavigne, 207–226. Guelph and Limerick: International Fund for Animal Welfare and the University of Limerick.Google Scholar
- Rees, William. 2008. Human nature, eco-footprints and environmental injustice. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 13: 658–701.Google Scholar
- Reijnders, Lucas, and Sam Soret. 2003. Quantification of the environmental impact of different dietary protein choices. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 78(Suppl): 664S–668S.Google Scholar
- Steinfeld, Henning, Pierre Gerber, Tom Wassenaar, Vincent Castel, Mauricio Rosales, and Cees de Haan. 2006. Livestock’s long shadow. Environmental issues and options. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Google Scholar
- United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, Cultural Rights. 1999. The right to adequate food (Art. 11, E/C.12/1999/5). Geneva: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.Google Scholar
- Weidema, Bo, Marianne Wesnæs, John Hermansen, Troels Kristensen, and Niels Halberg. 2008. Environmental improvement potentials of meat and dairy products. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Community.Google Scholar
- Wexler, Bruce. 2006. Brain and culture: Neurobiology, ideology and social change. Cambridge, MS: Bradford Books, MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Woolhouse, Mark, and Sonya Gowtage-Sequeria. 2005. Host range and emerging and reemerging pathogens. Emerging Infectious Diseases 11: 1842–1847.Google Scholar