Creating Carnists

  • Jeremy Fischer orcid logo
  • Rachel Fredericks orcid logo


This is an accepted article with a DOI pre-assigned that is not yet published.

We argue that individual and institutional caregivers have a defeasible moral duty to provide dependent children with plant-based diets and related education. Notably, our three arguments for this claim do not presuppose any general duty of veganism. Instead, they are grounded in widely shared intuitions about children’s interests and caregivers’ responsibilities, as well as recent empirical research relevant to children’s moral development, autonomy development, and physical health. Together, these arguments constitute a strong cumulative case against inculcating in children the dietary practice of regularly eating meat (and other animal products)—a practice we call “carnism.”

Keywords: autonomy, carnism, caregiving, children, parenting, veganism, vegetarianism, plant-based diet, health, moral development

Accepted on
16 Dec 2022
Peer Reviewed