1. POLLAN’S VIEW OF DOMESTICATION AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS AS A MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL EXCHANGE
a. The good life for domesticated (food) animals can’t be achieved apart from humans, thus farms, thus meat eating
2. In principle, animal agriculture is mutualism, not exploitation
a. We give them food and protection and they give us (we take!) milk, eggs, and their flesh
3. Domestication an evolutionary development by which certain species evolved to survive and prosper in alliance with humans
a. Both humans and animals were transformed by this relationship
i. Animals grew tame and lost ability to fend for themselves
ii. Humans gave up hunter-gatherer lifestyle and became agriculturalists (and e.g., developed lactose tolerance)
4. FOR ANIMALS, ALLIANCE WITH HUMANS HAS BEEN A GREAT SUCCESS (AT LEAST UNTIL OUR TIME)
5. One: Domestic animals have survived and in greater numbers that wild counterparts
a. Cows, pigs, dogs, cats, and chickens have thrived, while their wild ancestors have languished
b. 10,000 wolves in N.A., 50 million dogs
c. Worries: (1) Dogs doing better than wolves both because we’ve taken care of dogs and because we destroyed wolves and their habitat; (2) Is number of members of a species a sign of success or is the average welfare of members of that species a better measure of success?
6. Two: If we didn’t eat them, many of these animals would not exist
a. Rights for chickens would mean extinction of chickens
b. Domesticated animal can’t survive in wild
c. Worries: (1)Some (e.g., pigs) domesticated animals could exist in the wild (although in great numbers they would damage ecosystems) (2) Would the extinction of domesticated breeds (or ceasing to exist in great numbers) be a bad thing? Reagan and Singer’s views?
7. Three: If raised humanely and killed painlessly, domesticated animals would be happier and flourish more than their wild counterparts
a. Life in the wild would be worse for these farm animals
b. They live longer in captivity
i. E.g., chickens lives longer in their brief life in a pasture than likely to live in the wild
ii. Worries: Does this claim depends on the species? True that most wild animals die in infancy, but once make it past infancy they live longer in the wild?
c. In “humane farms” die less painfully
i. Way animals die in the wild is typically very painful
d. Instead of it being wrong to treat animals as a means, at least for working animals (draft horses and seeing eye dogs?) their happiness consists in serving as a means
e. Worry: Pollan seems to be using the way nature treats animals as a standard or justification for the way humans should treat them
i. Is Pollan assuming this (controversial) principle: How humans treat animals is permissible as long as it is better than how nature treats them?
ii. At other points, Pollan rejects idea of basing human morality on nature (e.g., he rejects argument for meat eating that says they eat each other, so it is permissible for us to eat them)