Teea Kortetmäki, postdoc researcher on environmental social sciences at University of Jyväskylä, and her co-author Markku Oksanen recently published a paper titled “Is There a Convincing Case for Climate Veganism?” in Agriculture and Human Values.
Here’s the abstract: Climate change compels us to rethink the ethics of our dietary choices and has become an interesting issue for ethicists concerned about diets, including animal ethicists. The defenders of veganism have found that climate change provides a new reason to support their cause because many animal-based foods have high greenhouse gas emissions. The new style of argumentation, the ‘climatic argument(s) for veganism’, may benefit animals by persuading even those who are not concerned about animals themselves but worry about climate change. The arguments about the high emissions of animal-based food, and a resulting moral obligation to abstain from eating such products, are an addition to the prior forms of argument for principled veganism grounded on the moral standing of, and concern for, nonhuman animals. In this paper, we examine whether the climatic argument for veganism is convincing. We propose a formulation for the amended version of the argument and discuss its implications and differences compared to the moral obligations of principled veganism. We also reflect upon the implications of our findings on agricultural and food ethics more generally.