Die­tary change

TagLast edit: 17 Mar 2023 4:28 UTC by Pablo

Dietary change is seen as a way to reduce animal suffering, especially in factory farms, by reducing consumption of animal products or avoiding such products altogether.[1]

Besides its direct impact on food production, going vegetarian or vegan can also encourage others to make similar choices, and ultimately help change social norms.[2] For this reason, many members of the effective altruism community advocate a vegan or vegetarian diet, while some focus on reducing consumption of specific foods associated with most animal deaths or suffering.[3][4]

However, other members of the community have argued that reducing or eliminating animal products has monetary, attentional, and productivity costs, and that, after accounting for these costs, dietary change may not be a cost-effective intervention for improving animal welfare.[5]

Further reading

Mathur, Maya B. et al. (2021) Interventions to reduce meat consumption by appealing to animal welfare: Meta-analysis and evidence-based recommendations, Appetite, vol. 164.

Tomasik, Brian (2006) Does vegetarianism make a difference?, Essays on Reducing Suffering.
A discussion of how vegetarianism can have an impact on suffering.

Tomasik, Brian (2007) How much direct suffering is caused by various animal foods?, Essays on Reducing Suffering.
An analysis of the impact of the production of different foods.

Vinding, Magnus (2020) Underappreciated consequentialist reasons to avoid consuming animal products, Magnus Vinding’s Blog, October 3.

Wildeford, Peter (2013) Why eat less meat?, AI Alignment Forum, July 23.
A clear articulation of the case for eating fewer animal products.

Related entries

animal product alternatives | animal welfare | cultivated meat | farmed animal welfare | marginal charity

  1. ^

    Wildeford, Peter (2013) Why eat less meat?, AI Alignment Forum, July 23.

  2. ^

    Tomasik, Brian (2006) Does vegetarianism make a difference?, Essays on Reducing Suffering.

  3. ^

    Galef, Julia (2011) Want to kill fewer animals? Give up eggs, Scientific American Guest Blog, August 11.

  4. ^

    Tomasik, Brian (2007) How much direct suffering is caused by various animal foods?, Essays on Reducing Suffering.

  5. ^

    Lewis, Gregory (2015) Don’t sweat diet?, Effective Altruism Forum, October 22.

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