Week 4 – Discussion
Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.
The Effects of Business on Consumers and the Environment: Case Study: Perdue Farms
This discussion assignment requires you to submit at least four posts: an initial post, two reply posts to fellow students in threads other than your own, and a revised post.
Prepare: In preparation for your first post in this discussion, you will become familiar with the case of Perdue Farms by means of the material listed under Required Resources (Generally). You will also find more material under Required Resources (Per Subject Heading) because the specific task for this discussion is to examine this case with an eye for any one of the following four subject headings in business ethics: (1) the environment, (2) advertising, (3) consumer safety and (4) moral responsibility. You must select one of these subject headings and your selection will be the specific focus of your work for your discussion. Accordingly, you will be responsible to complete the readings and videos listed under your chosen subject heading.
Reflect: If you choose the environment subject heading, reflect on the sheer density of chickens raised at any given time in the Perdue facilities. The disposal of their discarded remains and their processing for distribution, either individually and most definitely together, pose a number of environmental concerns.
If you choose the advertising subject heading, reflect on how the two videos on Perdue farms present the sharp contrast between the way the company presents its product and the way in which it has been discovered to run its chicken farms. Consider whether this is an example of failure to provide truth in advertising and how you would support such a stance.
If you choose the consumer safety subject heading, reflect on the way in which chickens raised in factory farms risks consumer safety. These might include (a) bacterial contamination, (b) the effects of antibiotics on the meat that is consumed, or (c) the release of adrenaline, cortisone, and other chemicals resulting from the acute stress endured by factory farm animals, which then becomes part of the meat that is later consumed by humans.
If you choose the moral responsibility heading, reflect on the stewardship role that may fall upon humans toward non-human animals. Can we utilize them as mere means to an end (for entertainment, companionship, or food)? Or do we have special obligations toward them (e.g., not to mistreat or torture them and to slaughter them quickly and without stress) because they are sentient beings?
Once you have completed the indicated readings and videos, reflect on the ethical theories that we have covered in the discussions thus far and identify one that you want to apply for your analysis in your discussion post.
Also, reflect on the regulations (or lack thereof) in the factory farming industry in order to be able to examine how our nation’s laws affect the operations of the business. You will need to research the applicable laws on the factory farming industry.
Finally, since Perdue Farms is an American corporation, reflect on the mixed economic system in the United States in order to articulate the setting for the operations of factory farming, and then, be able to analyze the ethical actions of Perdue given this setting.
Write: In the first part of your initial post, you will need to introduce the Perdue case within the particular subject heading that you have chosen. In this introduction, you will also need to (1) articulate the relevant characteristics of our mixed economic system and (2) present the regulations for the factory farming industry. These will provide the setting for you to be able to examine how the nation’s laws affect its operations.
In the second part of your initial post, present your analysis of the problem in a way that identifies which entities (Perdue as a corporation, the economic system in the USA, the regulatory control of the state, or all of these) have a role in the problem that you have presented. In your analysis, you must assess the negative effects of the interplay between business activity and one of the following: the environment, advertising, consumer safety, or corporate social responsibility. Your focus must be an ethical analysis of this interplay, and it must be well supported by reliable and/or scholarly sources by clearly identifying the ethical theory that you are applying in your analysis.
Revise: Read the feedback provided by your professor to your initial post, either directly to you or to your fellow students. Use this as an opportunity to learn from your professor, especially with regard to the best ways to apply the course material and your research to your analysis. On the basis of what you have learned in this process, post an improved revision of your initial post that applies the additional knowledge that you have gained.
Remember that your grade depends on the quality of your initial and revised responses, not just on the submission of an attempt at improvement. It is thus to your advantage to post the best initial post you can and then to also improve that best effort as much as you can through revision. Taking this process seriously will help you develop the skills you need to do well on the Final Project.
Requirements for Your Initial Post:
Requirements for Replies to Other Threads:
Requirements for Revising Your Initial Post: