Cover image for Agricultural ethics : research, teaching, and public policy
Agricultural ethics : research, teaching, and public policy
Thompson, Paul B., 1951-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Ames : Iowa State University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xi, 239 pages ; 24 cm
Ethics in agricultural research -- Elements of ethical choices for agricultural research -- Technological values in the applied science laboratory -- Undergraduate education for agriculture and natural resource professionals : emphasizing the social sciences and humanities -- Agricultural ethics : content and methods -- Agricultural ethics in rural education -- Analyzing public policy : the case of food labels -- Animal welfare, animal rights, and agricultural biotechnology -- Ethical issues and BST -- Animals in the agrarian ideal -- Constitutional values and the American food system.
Format :


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Item Holds
BJ52.5 .T539 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Presents a collection of essays written over a period of 15 years by agricultural ethicist Paul B. Thompson. The essays address the practical application of ethics to agriculture in a world faced with issues of increased yield, threatened environment, and the disappearance of the family farm.

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Choice Review

As modern agriculture transforms food production and geography, it inevitably clashes with preservation, consumer, environmental, and animal rights groups. Do consumers have a right to know if milk is produced by cows on recombinant bovine somatotropin (BST)? Are pesticides (e.g., Alar) overused? Should governments fund research on mechanical tomato harvesters that will replace workers and favor large farms? Is meat production inhumane? Thompson (Purdue) is a master of the well-informed, systematic overview. Providing historical and philosophical context, he deftly and fairly delineates issues, competing considerations, and alternative policies. Thomas Jefferson and Ralph Waldo Emerson's views on farming are related to contemporary movements to return to the land and to Wendell Berry's The Unsettling of America (1977). Concrete implications of philosophical theories are explored: Aristotle on character and virtue, Kant on autonomy and rights, Bentham on social good and consequences. Thompson usefully distinguishes among the sustainability of ecosystems, food production systems, and ways of life. Reading Thompson is essential for careful thought on the social issues surrounding food production. This collection of essays is appropriate for upper-division undergraduates; all libraries should also consider the author's The Spirit of the Soil (1995). D. Christie University of New Hampshire