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Willed blindness: a discussion of our moral shortcomings in relation to animals

By M. Gjerris

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This article describes how we seem to live in a willed blindness towards the effects that our meat production and consumption have on animals, the environment and the climate. A willed blindness that cannot be explained by either lack of knowledge or scientific uncertainty. The blindness enables us to see ourselves as moral beings although our lack of reaction to the effects of our actions tells another story. The article describes the consequences of intensive meat production and consumption to animal welfare and environmental degradation and discusses different strategies to overcome the willed blindness focusing on the development of either a new moral vision of our obligations or new visions of what a good life is.

Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 28
Issue 3
Pages 517-532
ISBN/ISSN 0893-4282
DOI 10.1007/s10806-014-9499-6
Language English
Author Address Institute of Food and Ressource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 25, 1958, Frederiksberg C,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal welfare
  2. Attitudes
  3. Domestic animals
  4. Environment
  5. Ethics
  6. Livestock
  7. Livestock farming
  8. Meat animals
  9. Meat production
  10. peer-reviewed
  11. pollution
  12. regulations
  1. peer-reviewed