THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: Toward a Food Ethic
Keywords:Ethics, Aldo Leopold
First paragraphs:Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic is credited with defining a new relationship between people and nature and setting the stage for the modern conservation movement (Aldo Leopold Foundation, n.d.). Most simply stated: "A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise" (Partridge, 1993, The Land Ethic, para. 10). Again, in the words of Leopold, "The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land" (Aldo Leopold Foundation, n.d., para. 1). I believe we need a similar Food Ethic to guide the modern sustainable agriculture movement.
Some may question the need for a new food ethic. There is already an interdisciplinary field of study called "food ethics" that "provides ethical analysis and guidance for human conduct in the production, distribution, preparation and consumption of food" (Peeler, 2015, para. 2). The Catholic Rural Life program has long reminded us that "Eating is a Moral Act," noting that, "We say this simply because food sustains life. But the world of agriculture is extremely complex and there are many moral dimensions to it" (Catholic Rural Life, 2012, para. 1). The idea of a food ethic also is a common sentiment among Native Peoples. Ethical eating certainly is not new idea....
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