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Helmut F. Kaplan: Paths to Veganism

Helmut F. Kaplan: Paths to Veganism
If you Want Vegans, Promote Vegetarianism

February 2010

Over the last twenty years, I have dealt with the moral significance of a vegetarian and a vegan lifestyle in about as many texts, trying to become clear on this issue myself and to convey my conclusions to my readers. I failed miserably at the latter. This might be because of the following two reasons:

First: The way the question of the moral significance of vegetarianism and veganism is thematized and answered depends largely on one's own ethical position. If you are a "deontologist, " you ponder if an action is correct IN ITSELF, independent of its consequences. If you are a "consequentialist, " you believe that it is PRECISELY the consequences of an action that matter. Not being aware or not wanting to be aware of this fundamental theoretical question is naturally not exactly conducive to a fruitful debate.

Second: Vegetarianism/ veganism is a topic that is so emotionally loaded that even the QUESTIONS brought up are hardly taken note of, let alone discussed in a sober and rational manner. So I turned to mostly to discussing the following question....

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