At every Ideas Café we put up boards where people are encouraged to answer a series of questions related to the theme of the café, in this case Food Security. You can read below participants' answers to the questions, which were posed by the speakers.
Does animal welfare matter?
Yes! How do we connect better to our food and protect biodiversity and the landscape without considering animal welfare?
Yes! We are the imposing and horrifically unfair force over these poor creatures who in effect give their lives for our upkeep and nutrition. DOES THAT NOT DESERVE RESPECT?
…and plant “welfare”. We eat plants and they are living entities. Is it wrong to cram plants into greenhouse cultures for example?
Not sentient though, so it depends on if animal welfare is an issue because of their ability to feel pleasure/pain, not their innate value…
How do we protect people’s rights to good food? (especially the poorest).
What constitutes a right?
Where does this notion of ‘rights’ come from? We might suspect that rights are a sort of daydream indulged by fat smug westerners who have lost the plot.
Equal food security – equal economic distribution, equal land access based in a common humanity?
The implications for ethics and political philosophy are missing from this debate.
We need food security on the PPE syllabus.
Is permaculture viable on a large scale?
Is food security a human rights issue? To what extent?
Yes – the right to life requires the right to water and food – otherwise the newborn will die young.
Yes – also an environmental one. Clearly. Perhaps a need to think beyond immediate needs of humanity towards an ecological holism?
At what spatial scale(s) should we consider delivery of ecosystem services, including food production?
At what scale are you able to influence them?
‘You’ singular or ‘you’ plural or both?
Where are you planning to source your food? It seems pretty clear that food supply is global and there’s little way to change that.
Are biofuels a waste of food or a great green idea?
Depends what biofuels are replacing.
Biofuels = further consumption, further justifications for unsustainable lifestyles. Then again, things aren’t going to regress – is meat a bigger issue...
All comments here are the work and opinion of the Ideas Café audience and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Warwick.