>>4490>"Entitled" in what sense?
In the most basic sense of the word. If you exist, you are entitled to certain rights as a person in your place of living. Probably you have the right to bodily autonomy, the right to self-direct, and so on and so forth. But really it could be anything that you weren't given, but which is in place, merely because of the circumstances you exist in. Animals had these kinds of rights before we came along, and they should have them again, if we are really serious about cutting our interference out of their lives.>I don't think any concept of entitlement enters into the analysis at all?
Well yes that was exactly the problem I had. Because there is such a thing as utility which we did not give the animals, it doesn't make sense to count just any utility associated with the animals' existence as being a consequence of farming. You know if I put a kid in a room for example, and he teaches himself to count while being in that room. I cannot take credit for his achievement just because I placed him in that boring environment. In the same way, we cannot take responsibility for every bit of the self-directed utility animals may experience in captivity, because that was something the animals produced, not us.>Farming supports a vastly greater number of animals than would exist in nature. So for most of the farmed animals, I think the realistic alternative would be non-existence.
I think that's one alternative we can imagine. I would hope, though, that there would still be large grazing animals and fowl around in nature reserves, since they're excellent at promoting biological diversity, which is something our overtaxed ecosystems sorely need. I guess it's true that numbers would be far reduced, but I'm not sure exactly by how much. If the space currently allocated to feeding and housing animals was made into nature reserves, something which we know from psychological studies has very positive effects on human populations, and which might help slow the decline of insect populations and the mass extinction currently ongoing in the natural world because of us, I'm not sure if the difference in population would really be that large, if we ignore the hard to ignore fact that the population size of chickens is pretty ridiculous inPost too long. Click here to view the full text.