Meat Eating and Animal Abuse in the Article “Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases”

Last Updated: 31 Jan 2023
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Writing Assignment on Select Article Alastair Norcross, “Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases” Philosophy 2305, Fall 2018 Diana P. Cera I selected the article from Alastair Norcross, “Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases”. The article began with the story of Fred and how he brutally abused and mutilated puppies in his basement to extract cocoamone. Norcross gave the reader an explanation about Fred’s abuse to the puppies, he explained that Fred was in a terrible car accident causing him an irreparable brain damage. In this accident, Fred lost the ability to taste chocolate, and Fred loves chocolate very much.

He went to a gustatory neurologist, Dr. T Bud, and the doctor explained to him that he has an irreversible damage in the godiva gland. This gland is responsible to produce cocoamone hormone that gives the gustatory sensation of chocolate, and it cannot be chemical produce or extract from anyone. However, Dr. T Bud told him about an autopsy performed to severe -stress and abused puppies (287) the results of the autopsy show high concentrations of cocoamone in the puppies’ brain (287). However, the study was never published because of the fear of retaliation from animal groups or the entire society. Norcross used this case to create an analogy between Fred’s case and the people who eat meat that comes from factories where animals are abused too. In both cases, people are satisfying their gustatory pleasure.

After the introduction, Norcross claims that his comparison could be Double Moral because people were very distressed with Fred’s actions against the puppies. But American does not anguish as much when they buy and consume meat from the farm where animals are probably abused too. Norcross insists that even though Americans probably do not have any idea where the meat in the grocery came from, they are responsible to buy and consume it. In addition, if only one person decided not to consume meat from factories, it will not make a big change in the meat business. Norcross also claim that Fred was hurting the puppies purposefully and consciously just to please his gustatory sensation of chocolate. On the other hand, Americans don’t only satisfy their gustatory sensation but also helps with the economics of the country.

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Moreover, Norcross implied that we will choose to save a puppy instead of a farm animal because our feelings define the moral value of the animals. In addition, the “traditional view” said that humans and animals are different in many ways but humans should be considered with animals. In the Utilitarianism point of view, Fred was not doing anything wrong because his abuse to the puppies compensated with the satisfaction to taste chocolate. This makes no difference to the Americans that consume meat from farms where animals were abused too. Norcross has a strong argument when he claims: “The first difference that might seem to be relevant is that Fred tortures the puppies himself, whereas most Americans consume meat that comes from animals that have been tortured by others” (288-289).

This is an effective argument because all animals have the same level of pain and can suffer the same way. However, a big difference between Fred and the meat consumption is that Fred abused the puppies himself while the Americans don't, they only buy and consume it. Norcross claims that if we condemn Fred for his urge to please his gustatory sensation experience, also meat consumers should be condemned for the same reason.

On the other hand, meat consumers can argue that they don’t know where the meat comes from or how the animals were torture while Fred knew exactly what he was doing to those puppies. Norcross explained also that if one person decides to become vegetarian, this action will not have a crucial change in the meat market business; However, to have a real impact, around 10,000 (291) people should quit consume meat. Norcross conclude that it is not a moral difference between Fred’s actions and the Americans that buy and eat meat from the meat market. A weak argument from Norcross is: “Perhaps puppies have a greater degree of rationality than farm animal…” (293)

People could have more sympathy for puppies because they feel more familiarized to them than farm animals. However, this claim is weak because animals have pain in the same way and they all have the same rights. This claim is weak and morally wrong because animals do not have full moral value and they are cognitively impaired creating an argument because it is the same case scenario to infants. In sum, ignorance should not be subject to our own benefit, on the contrary, we must inform ourselves and make our own decisions about meat consumption. The conclusion of Norcross does not go unnoticed to the reader. On the contrary, his arguments make the reader think twice about the meaning of double moral and moral value of our actions.

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Meat Eating and Animal Abuse in the Article “Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases”. (2023, Jan 24). Retrieved from

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