You Feed Us Anything, We Feed Your Ego
by HoudRank on February 10, 2015 - 4:04pm
Food; a broad term for sure, many thoughts come to mind when the word food is said. It could drift the attention to diet, obesity, comfort and pleasurable food, all the way to junk food. However, they all boil down to one source; it is the food industry. But how clean and concerned is this industry with people’s health? Probably, not at all.
Many workers, and even owners of food-producing companies do not have a university degree that qualifies them to be selling and feeding people. We as pleasure-seeking humans have become so forgetful and irresponsible when it comes to our diet that we are willing to buy anything simply because it tastes good. Knowing full well that if the ingredients were explicitly known, it might alter our decision to eat it. These companies advertise their food products in a way that is closer to illusion than to reality. They are designated especially to persuade young children since they lack the capabilities of analyzing the intent behind these advertisements. And by intent I mean the company’s profit. Companies take advantage of these children’s innocent presumptions for example through the selling of a “Happy Meal”. The name serves the literal meaning for the “happy” part because there is a gift in the box, but is it a decent and nutritious “meal”? The answer is a no. Young children are extremely prone to unpleasant outcomes because of certain foods. The Mayo Clinic Staff states that a diet “full of fast food and laden with high-calorie beverages and oversized portions contributes to weight gain” this reveals that fast food companies do not prioritize the health of the consumers.
Here, there is a conflict between companies and their consumers. The problem with companies is that they are inhibiting a teleological way of running the business. Only the ends (money in this case) is what matters and the ends must be pleasurable circumstances; The summum bonum for owners is to make more profit; thus, whether people get their basic nutrition needs or not is not the industry’s responsibility. In the food industry, animals are the means to the end and they are being treated unethically. One study reports that animals are being “genetically altered to grow faster or to produce much more milk or eggs than they naturally would -many animals become crippled under their own weight and die just inches away from water and food” (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Organization). From a teleological perspective, we are advocates of self-interest and not social interest. Additionally, according to Kant, what makes an action moral, is the intent (i.e. the will) and the final products of these companies makes the consumer doubt the producers intent. Is the intent benefitting people and boosting their health or is it simply generating more profit to the company? However, had companies been operating from a categorical imperative standpoint, the food industry would be exceptionally clean.
In the context of the food industry a deontological perspective seems to apply more properly. A list of rules that set decent standards to the quality of food must be available because the importance of health far outweighs the importance of profit.
Finally, company owners should aim for laws that satisfy something more valuable than their instincts, and that is our health.
"Ethical Dilemmas of the Food Industry." Prezi.com. 28 May 2012. Web. 10 Feb.
"Factory Farming: Cruelty to Animals." PETA. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.
"Obesity." Risk Factors. 13 May 2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.