Alastair Norcross on the Philosophy of Animal Ethics


Following up on our last episode, Eating Animals, is it Ethical?, we’re keeping on the topic of animal ethics and philosophy, this time with an expert, and one that encapsulates beautifully the Thought For Food mission: Educational, engaging, and entertaining.

Today on the show we have Alastair Norcross, a professor at the University of Colorado in the philosophy department. Alastair hails originally from Oxford in England, but came to Syracuse University to pursue his PhD in  philosophy. He focuses primarily on utilitarianism, which is a “theory in normative ethics holding that the best moral action is the one that maximizes utility. Utility is defined in various ways, but is usually related to the well-being of sentient entities.” He teaches an animal ethics course at CU Boulder, and is a passionate marathon runner, vegan, and animal lover. In the episode, we discuss:

Running and endurance sports
Animal experimentation
His journey towards philosophy and eventually animal ethics
A synopsis of his popular essay, “Puppies, Pigs, and People”
The “humane” meat myth
His diet and food philosophy

Alastair is a brilliant, comical, entertaining, and passionate person that has a lot to say about the themes we like to discuss on TFF.  We love engaging and logical conversations with academics that are interested in changing the status quo. We hope you enjoy the conversation and that his arguments are compelling and help you think more critically about morality, ethics, and food.

Keep up with all things Thought For Food by joining our email list at the top of the website page, follow us on our various social media platforms (especially Snapchat!). We just launched Twitter and Facebook pages, so go check them out! If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions for the show, be sure to drop us an email at, we’d love to answer them on future episodes. It would also mean a lot to us if you left a review on the iTunes page from your computer, it helps us reach more listeners and gain some momentum in the podcast space. Hope everyone is taking advantage of spring weather by getting outside and eating delicious fruit. Thank you all for the kind words about the podcast and for tuning in from around the world each week, it means so much to us.

What’s your thought for food?

-Jackson and Aaron

Show Notes:

Alastair’s website:

“Puppies, Pigs, and People”:

Twitter/Periscope: @TFFlifestyle
Follow us on Snapchat! @TFFlifestyle
iTunes Page:
Contact us:

Jackson’s site and social media:
Instagram: @jacksonlong
Twitter: @jacksonlong

Aaron’s site and social media:
Instagram: @theplantbasedrn
Twitter: @theplantbasedrn

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