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Animal welfare: Antispeciesism, veganism and a "life worth living"

Abstract : While antispeciesism is an ethical notion, veganism is behavioral. In this paper, we examine the links between the two. Building on Blackorby and Donaldson (1992), we consider a two-species model in which humans consume animals. The level of antispeciesism is conceived as the weight on animals' welfare in the utilitarian social welfare function. We show that more antispeciesism increases meat consumption if and only if animals' utility is positive. That is, the critical condition is whether farm animals' lives are worth living. We then empirically explore this condition using a survey. We find that farm-animal experts and frequent meat eaters are more likely to believe that the lives of farm animals are worth living. We finally discuss some issues in the study of animal welfare in economics and social choice.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 10:56:45 AM
Last modification on : Monday, March 29, 2021 - 2:48:22 PM
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Romain Espinosa, Nicolas Treich. Animal welfare: Antispeciesism, veganism and a "life worth living". Social Choice and Welfare, Springer Verlag, In press, ⟨10.1007/s00355-020-01287-7⟩. ⟨halshs-02945305⟩

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