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Thoreau Essay

436 words - 2 pages

Walker KeenanPhilosophic History of American EnvironmentalismProf. Mark Fowler302-11Although Singer is an advocate for humane utilitarianism and Leopold is an advocate for the environmental ethic, they both believe decisions should be guided more by ethics than by economics. However, Leopold expands the definition of what a moral patient is to beyond just animals, while Singer restricts the definition of moral patient to individual animals. Leopold is concerned more about environmental systems, where Singer is more concerned about ...view middle of the document...

Singer is against this because he is against all animal pain; however, Singer is in favor of eliminating some predators as they do harm on other animals. In the 21st century both theorists would take a stance against factory farming. Leopold would be against factory farming because of the effects this farming method has on the environmental system (e.g. greenhouse gas production, runoff, antibiotic resistance, etc.). Singer would oppose using this method of farming purely because of the pain it would cause animals. Although Singer tends to focus more on individual animals and Leopold tends to focus more on the environment as a whole, both theorists want to change the way we think about our use of animals. The goal of this is to have us think about their suffering or how their use could have an impact on community and environmental systems at large. The latter is important because if we do not preserve the environmental systems on the planet, it will be impossible for the earth to sustain life. This may require changing the way we use animals. Both Singer and Leopold would view our current exploitation of the environment as immoral.

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