So with over 2,000 votes cast, we know something about the eating habits of philosophers and their views about the ethics of those habits. 8% of respondents were vegans (a rate 10-20 times higher than in the population at large), 25% are vegetarians (a rate about 8 times higher than in the population at large), and 67% are carnivores. Not quite a quarter of the vegetarians, however, had ethical doubts about their eating practices--I assume many of those thought they really ought to be vegans. (Matthew Hernandez, a philosophy student at Portland State, wrote with a question for those folks: "I've never heard a reason for being Vegetarian that did not extend further to Veganism. That is, every reason I've heard for being Vegetarian, is a reason to be Vegan and say if we rated the level of ethical outcome of the acts, the Vegan would rank higher than the Vegetarian (solely based on my knowledge of the arguments and relevant scientific and statistical data as well as knowledge of factory farm practices)." I hope some readers will take that up in the comments.)
More than half of the carnivores professed ethical doubts about their eating practices. (That might be consistent with a recent finding by Eric Schwitzgebel and Joshua Rust that moral philosophers "were...substantially more likely [than other philosophers] to self-report vegetarianism. However, when asked about their last evening meal, ethicists reported eating meat at approximately the same rate as did the other groups.") It would be interesting to hear from carnivores on this subject. Are moral considerations in fact not overriding in their practical reasoning? Is it that they think the ethical arguments against meat-eating are not wholly persuasive, and they are still undecided?
Finally, 5% of carnivores identified ethical reasons as central to why they do eat meat. What did readers have in mind? Is it that that they are Kantians or contractarians who think that non-human animals have no intrinsic moral standing or worth, such that it would be a moral mistake to refrain from eating meat for allegedly ethical reasons? Or do they share the view widespread, for example, in the disability rights community, that Singer-style reasoning in support of vegetarianism entails morally reprehensible conclusions in other domains, constituting a reductio of the premises? Or something else altogether?
I'll consider unsigned comments, IF they include a valid e-mail address and they are substantive and on point. I would prefer signed comments. Readers may comment on any aspects of the results that are of interest.