So obviously I am a philosophy student, I'm getting a minor in ethics. I think that ethics are really important to think about. Having an ethical framework helps you make decisions about moral things every day.
Yep. Every single day. I think that just about everything we do has an impact on other people. If you sat in a closet all day, maybe you wouldn't need to think about ethical behavior, because you aren't in contact with others. Everything we do, buy a coffee, go to work, buy and read the newspaper, and especially, EAT, has far reaching implications that effect other people, animals, and the environment.
That's why cooking with ethical implications in mind is important. Eating is another thing we do EVERY DAY. So, as Michael Pollan would say, that's three votes a day with your fork. You could choose to conform to the status quo of the typical American: processed food, meat, added sugar, added fat, and chemical enhancers and sweeteners.
Or, if you don't like the fact that we dump all kinds of fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides into our fields and food (some which have the potential to cause cancer and disrupt ecosystems), or that both farmers and field laborers hardly make enough of a living to feed their families, or that our nation's waistlines are growing considerably (Mrs. Obama said 1 in 3 kids are obese or overweight) and the rates of diet related disease are skyrocketing, or that farm animals are treated as commodities instead of sentient beings....
These are the reasons I eat conscientiously. I eat mostly plants, which are mostly organic, and I do the best I can to buy local products, even though on a waitress' salary, it's kind of tough. When we get meat for my man, I insist on no hormone, preferably organic and local.
So keep your values in mind when you eat. If everyone did it, the world would be a different place.