AFHVS-ASFS Conference proposal 2017

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"Sourcing Values in a Food Philosophy: Notes toward a moral terrior."

As with the sourcing of food itself, values in a food philosophy can be thought of as "sourced" in different ways. This paper compares ecological approaches to sourcing values with ontological or categorical food moralities. These approaches are both well justified, but can lead to very different priorities and ways of evaluating ethical choices in a food system. Some recent work by Andrew Smith suggests that ecologically sourced food ethics might give rise to different moral judgments about the relative exploitation of plants vs. animals, for example. It may also disrupt traditional category based food ethics such as some forms of ethical veganism, which argue that animals are not the kinds of creatures who can be morally respected and eaten. I would like to extend Smith's work by developing a concept of "moral terrior," which prioritizes ecologically grounded food ethics while trying to satisfy some of our categorical moral intuitions. In light of the conference theme, I will work with examples from food cultures of the Pacific region, such as fish sustainability and exploitation of agriculture for international production, as well as cultural practices and histories such as the potlatch and it's encounter with European culture. A food ethics informed by moral terrior may have practical implications for how we assess sustainability and ethical eating.

for AFHVS/ASFS Annual Meeting and Conference, Occidental College, Los Angeles, June 14-17, 2017