It is illegal in most countries to torture animals, and most people would think it is wrong to kick a dog or a cat just for fun. Yet most people think it is not wrong to eat meat, even though animals often suffer a lot during the farming and slaughter process. What are the arguments for thinking that eating meat is morally acceptable? What are the arguments against it? Is this something worth caring about? And if other people do not stop eating meat, why should we?

Required readings

Other resources

  • Peter Singer (1989) “All Animals Are Equal” in Regan and Singer (eds.), Animal Rights and Human Obligations, New Jersey, pp. 148-162. [online version]
  • Chapter 2 of Colin McGinn (1992). Moral literacy, or, How to do the right thing. Duckworth.
  • Sunstein, C. R. (2004). Introduction: What are Animal Rights? (pp. 3-15) In C. R. Sunstein & M. C. Nussbaum (Eds.), Animal rights: Current debates and new directions. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Sunstein, Cass R. (2002). The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer. U Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 157; U of Chicago, Public Law Research Paper No. 30. Available at Chicago Unbound:
  • David DeGrazia (2002). Animal Rights: A Very Short Introduction. OUP.
  • An article on animal rights by Joe Lau in Chinese:
  • Gary Chartier (2006) On the Threshold Argument against Consumer Meat Purchases. Journal of Social Philosophy. Vol 37 Issue 2, pp. 233-249.

Recent news and blog posts


  • PETA is an organization against animal cruelty. Watch some of their videos about the actual conditions of farm animals.