Philosophy Essays on Opposition to Matheny’s Utilitarian Argument

In his argument, Matheny states that nonhumans are sensitive beings and this gives them the right to live a painless and pleasurable life. This shows that using animals for food is an unethical act. Matheny believes that every human being should adopt the vegan ideology. Matheny’s argument can be disproved on the grounds that human beings need animal protein for their well-being, dead animals are not solely used for food, and mammals are not the only animals on the planet.

Matheny acts on the assumption that the quality of animal and plant protein is the same. Studies demonstrate that plant protein cannot be easily digested as animal protein. Since the protein acquired from plant foods is less digestible than that from animals, the needs of amino acids and proteins for vegans are higher than that of omnivores. As such, it appears that the proteins that animals provide are much easier to digest since plant proteins have components that interfere with the process of nutrient-absorption. Based on this explanation, it is important that human beings consume animal protein since it is more favorable for the human digestive system and provides a valuable growth foundation.

Matheny forgot that dead animals are not solely used for food. The by-products are used to make many types of things; this is a method of reducing the adverse impact of human beings on animals. Therefore, whereas the main purpose of a dead animal is to provide food, it also provides other by-products whose effects are long lasting and enable a sustainable way to protect the life of other animals whose sole purpose is to provide material for clothing.

In his argument, Matheny appears to only care about mammals. His argument might have been sensible in the context of Reagan’s ideology since his philosophy for animal rights is more comprehensive than that of most vegans. Reagan asserts that animals should be taken as a life subject, rather than sensitive beings. Since most vegans only see animals as sensitive beings, they are not against killing and exploiting bugs. The argument over pain allows some vegans to disregard arthropods from interest or rights consideration. Since Matheny implicitly states that the deaths of animals being pulled into combines is painless and quick, the ability of an insect to feel pain is irreverent to him. His argument can be disqualified by the fact that the harm, in this case, is the irreversible death of a being, which experiences harm not pain sensations. Studies show that bees have similar emotions as rats and dogs; therefore, if the life of all animals (including insects) count, then it is not sensible to merely consider mammals in the calculation of harm caused by agricultural activities. If one takes a utilitarian stance, then he/she should consider the lives of many other insect types like grasshoppers, flies, and beetles among others. Human beings, both vegan and non-vegan, kill an unquantifiable number of these animals every year; however, Matheny does not believe that the number of deaths matter and this contradicts his utilitarian ideology. If one sticks by the confines of utilitarianism, it means that all animals should be considered since the number of insects that die is much higher than that of mammals.

Whereas it is crucial to protect the safety of animals, there are tangible flaws in the argument made by Matheny. His argument can be disproved on the grounds that human beings need animal protein for their well-being, dead animals are not solely used for food, and mammals are not the only animals on the planet. Overall, Matheny’s stance should be disregarded since it has a narrow point-of-view.