'The End of Animal Farming' Argues Against Factory Farming

Jacy Reese argued that the next great expansion of human morality must center on the well-being of animals and the end of factory farms.

“This concept, the ‘moral circle,’ is just the set of being we care about, individuals whose interests have weight in our legal, economic, and social systems,” “The End of Animal Farming” author stated. “As society grew more sophisticated, so did morality.”

Reese says that our moral circles have expanded since the beginning of society to include different laws, ethnicities, sexuality, and genders. However, if it has been expended more fully and more quickly, we might have prevented history’s greatest atrocities, like slavery, genocides, and wars.

“This suggests that if we want to better the world today and in the future, one of the most important factors is moral circle expansion,” he stated. “The biggest frontier of the moral circle right now is farmed animals.”

There are more than 100 billion animals in the food system and more than 90% endure near-constant torment. This is because animals have no protection from cruelty, and are essentially seen as tools for our consumption. But new laws and technologies like clean meat are expanding their right to exist.

“If we really want to improve the world as effective altruists, we should look even further ahead, to where our moral circle needs to go in the far future,” Reese said. “It’s deeply uncomfortable that our descendants might think of us as moral monsters. But that’s how we look at so many past generations.”