Response on the article “Animals place”
In the article, Songer is the author of the ook “Animal Liberation” that Pollan is reading in the restaurant. According to what Pollan has read, Singer is in the position of giving the animals the liberation that they deserve as one of God’s creations. In his work, Singer stated that animals like humans should be treated with respect and with consideration. He also pointed out that the equality among all living things should be exercised. For Singer, equality is not an assertion of fact but more of a moral idea (Pollan 1). Not because animals cannot think does not mean that they do not deserve to be treated fairly by humans. By having chimpanzees and slaves as examples, Singer is able to explain the meaning of equality by means of giving a fair treatment and consideration to all despite the characteristics that they have. In the end, Singer encourages people to refrain from eating meat of animals because for him, slaughtering animals is against the law.
On the other hand, Pollan has a different view about the animal rights issue. After reading the Book of Singer and weighing it against his beliefs and the things that he knew, Pollan came to a conclusion that the issue is not about animal liberation but animal welfare. According to Pollan, it is human’s decision on how they wanted to eat meat but as much as possible, people should limit it to a certain amount. The consideration of animal right’s comes with the way the animal’s are killed by humans. For Pollan, slaughtering animals for food is not bad. However, the way people slaughter them should be in such a way that will give the animals the respect and consideration that they needed (Pollan 1). By citing Salatin’s farm, Pollan is able to show people that humans can still show respect to the animals by letting them live a normal life in the farm even if they are domesticated. Living a normal life is like living with liberation. Even if the animals are to be slaughtered, they must be treated fairly and should be killed with respect. As Salatin points out in his statement, “a meat with a face” means that when you kill the animal and look into its eyes, you will see no regrets because the animal is able to live its life freely (Pollan 1). In the end, Pollan does not pursue vegetarianism yet; he proposes a new balance diet for people that will include both meat and vegetables.
After hearing Pollan’s side about the situation, the question of whether Pollan abandoned utilitarianism completely or not may arise from the people. From the analysis of Pollan’s side and examination of his argument, it can be implied that Pollan did not abandon utilitarianism because he still considered what makes most of the people happy. What Pollan did is merely an eye opener to most of the people who tend to focus so much on animal liberation that they forgot to consider factors that are deemed important to the idea of animal rights. What Pollan wants to do is to encourage people to consider his point because not just because he is able to defend it strongly but also, what he said is a fact that he found out that may be helpful in solving the issue. If all the people will realize his point and agree with him, then his argument will contribute a lot in utilitarianism.
In the end, after weighing Singer and Pollan’s points of view, I can say that I agree more with Pollan’s argument. Singer is correct about the idea of animal liberation but Pollan’s ways are a lot more convincing than Singer. As a person, I am not vegetarian and I really rely on meat when it comes to protein. Though I care for animals a lot, I cannot sacrifice my own appetite for them. Pollan is right that people can still show their care and respect for animals through a death that will show dignity. During the early years of life, humans have relied heavily on meat for food and they slaughter animals because the meat will be good for the entire family. It is true that slaughtering meat is not against human law. What people have to consider is the pain that the animals experience during the slaughter process and they should lessen this to avoid the suffering of the animals. Animals like us, also feel the pain and are subjected to suffering. However, if we are going to kill them, we should still give them an honorable and painless death that they deserve.
Pollan, M. An Animal’s Place. New York Times Magazine. 10 November, 2002. http://www.michaelpollan.com/article.php?id=55