Philosopher Rene Descartes claimed that animals were no different than inanimate objects: that they could not think or feel pain. Rejection of Descartes' views on animals is nearly universal, but today's factory farms are only possible by treating animals according to Cartesian principles. When faced with the realization that animal foods can be made affordable to most consumers only through factory farming, society is left with a dichotomous choice: either stop purchasing and consuming animal products, or animals will continue to suffer in factory farms.
Darian M. Ibrahim,
A Return to Descartes: Property, Profit, and the Corporate Ownership of Animals,
70 Law and Contemporary Problems
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/lcp/vol70/iss1/4