The Moral and Practical Considerations of the Use of Antibiotics in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations on Non-Human and Human Populations
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The use of antibiotics in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in the United States needs to be morally and practically considered from a non-human and human perspective. The driving questions of the project concern the role of moral theories in concrete scientific and public policy decisions, the synthesis and reconciliation of non-human and human health, and the role of both philosophical and political actions in order to change the extreme instrumentalist paradigm. This thesis synthesizes research from multiple disciplines: philosophy, public policy, science, and environmental studies. Parts I and II are two distinct but interdependent sections that consider the use of antibiotics in CAFOs from a non-human and human perspective,respectively. Part I evaluates the usefulness of utilitarianism, consequentialism, and deontology for non-human animal ethics. Deontology is a moral system that recognizes the inherent dignity and intrinsic value of certain subjects, dependent on philosopher and application. Kant’s Categorical Imperative, which strives for moral perfection through a priori moral formulations, is only reserved for rational human beings, and human beings alone have intrinsic worth. Deep Ecology is Kantian in its foundational idea of dignity and intrinsic value, but the movement extends intrinsic worth to nonhuman beings and the environment. Because utilitarianism and consequentialism perpetuate the violent instrumentalist paradigm, the project concludes that deontology is needed in order to improve human relations with non-human beings. Deontology recognizes the inherent dignity and worth of certain subjects, which is dependent on philosopher and application. Part II focuses on human epidemiology, public health, and public policy and argues that the use of antibiotics in CAFOs is a disaster risk. In order to combat the public health concern, the project suggests possible domestic and global solutions based on the philosophical conclusions of Part I.