I was wondering, what are some philosophical arguments for vegetarianism that are not hedonistic. I understand the hedonist's argument for vegetarianism, however I would like to understand a different one. For example, how would Schopenhauer argue vegetarianism. I would like as many diverse arguments as possible.

  • 3
    Is there any chance you might be able to specify a little more narrowly what you're looking for here?
    – Joseph Weissman
    Sep 15, 2016 at 21:55
  • This question shows some prior research. It may be "too broad" philosophy.stackexchange.com/help/closed-questions but an answer could have broad-but-specific arguments (of different type). "List questions are generally discouraged", but it seems Mr. Smith honestly is seeking a non-opinion based answer anyway. [Keelan, I'm quoting you.]
    – adamaero
    Sep 17, 2016 at 19:29
  • @AdamUraynar not sure why, though. You seem to argue against the closure of this question. But it is not closed and never has been.
    – user2953
    Dec 19, 2016 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


Schopenhauer's On the Basis of Morality ~ morality stems from sentient compassion

  • It follows that by not exercising compassion towards all sentient creatures, one is being immoral by definition.

Preference utilitarianism ~ the least amount of suffering for sentient beings

  • Unnecessary non-human suffering is still suffering (granted this would not be the case for humanely slaughtered animals)

Buddhist philosophy ~ compassion (in a nutshell) towards all beings

  • Although, the brass tacks of vegetarianism in Buddhism is the first precept to abstain from killing (of this kind). It can get complicated between different Buddhist schools, so take these brief words with a grain of salt, and know it is only meant generally.

Lastly, there is a "food-ethics" tag on Quora. This question website is better overall for exploring questions informally. That being mentioned, here are few sources for a more thorough understanding:

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