David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Applied Philosophy 29 (2):146-159 (2012)
The existence of predatory animals is a problem in animal ethics that is often not taken as seriously as it should be. We show that it reveals a weakness in Tom Regan's theory of animal rights that also becomes apparent in his treatment of innocent human threats. We show that there are cases in which Regan's justice-prevails-approach to morality implies a duty not to assist the jeopardized, contrary to his own moral beliefs. While a modified account of animal rights that recognizes the moral patient as a kind of entity that can violate moral rights avoids this counterintuitive conclusion, it makes non-human predation a rights issue that morally ought to be subjected to human regulation. Jennifer Everett, Lori Gruen and other animal advocates base their treatment of predation in part on Regan's theory and run into similar problems, demonstrating the need to radically rethink the foundations of the animal rights movement. We suggest to those who, like us, find it less plausible to introduce morality to the wild than to reject the concept of rights that makes this move necessary to read our criticism either as a modus tollens argument and reject non-human animal rights altogether or as motivating a libertarian-ish theory of animal rights
|Keywords||animal rights animal ethics animal liberation carnivorous animals predation innocent threats libertarianism|
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Citations of this work BETA
Josh Milburn (2015). Rabbits, Stoats and the Predator Problem: Why a Strong Animal Rights Position Need Not Call for Human Intervention to Protect Prey From Predators. Res Publica 21 (3):273-289.
Stijn Bruers (2015). The Core Argument for Veganism. Philosophia 43 (2):271-290.
Beril İdemen Sözmen (2013). Harm in the Wild: Facing Non-Human Suffering in Nature. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):1075-1088.
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