Competing Conceptions of Animal Welfare and Their Ethical Implications for the Treatment of Non-Human Animals
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Acta Biotheoretica 59 (2):105-120 (2011)
Animal welfare has been conceptualized in such a way that the use of animals in science and for food seems justified. I argue that those who have done this have appropriated the concept of animal welfare, claiming to give a scientific account that is more objective than the sentimental account given by animal liberationists. This strategy seems to play a major role in supporting merely limited reform in the use of animals and seems to support the assumption that there are conditions under which animals may be raised and slaughtered for food that are ethically acceptable. Reformists do not need to make this assumption, but they tend to conceptualize animal welfare is such a way that death does not count as harmful to the interests of animals, nor prolonged life a benefit. In addition to this prudential value assumption, some members of this community have developed strategies for defending suitably reformed farming practices as ethical even granting that death and some other forms of constraints are harms. One such strategy is the fiction of a domestic contract. However, if one accepts the conceptualization of human welfare give by L. W. Sumner, and applies it to animals in the way that I think is justified, an accurate conceptualization of animal welfare has different implications for which uses of animals should be regarded as ethically acceptable. In this paper I give an historical and philosophical account of animal welfare conceptulization and use this account to argue that animal breeders, as custodians of the animals they breed, have the ethical responsibility to help their animal wards achieve as much autonomy as possible in choosing the form of life made available to them and to provide that life. Attempts to avoid these implications by alluding to a contract model of the relationship between custodians and their wards fail to relieve custodians of their ethical responsibilities of care
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Bernice Bovenkerk & Franck L. B. Meijboom (2013). Fish Welfare in Aquaculture: Explicating the Chain of Interactions Between Science and Ethics. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (1):41-61.
Similar books and articles
Mark H. Bernstein (2004). Without a Tear: Our Tragic Relationship with Animals. University of Illinois Press.
Francine L. Dolins (ed.) (1999). Attitudes to Animals: Views in Animal Welfare. Cambridge University Press.
Claire Molloy (2011). Popular Media and Animals. Palgrave Macmillan.
David J. Mellor (2009). The Sciences of Animal Welfare. Wiley-Blackwell.
David DeGrazia (2002). Animal Rights: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
J. F. Hurnik & Hugh Lehman (1988). Ethics and Farm Animal Welfare. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 1 (4):305-318.
John Webster (2005). Animal Welfare: Limping Towards Eden: A Practical Approach to Redressing the Problem of Our Dominion Over the Animals. Blackwell Pub..
Kelly Oliver (2010). Animal Ethics: Toward an Ethics of Responsiveness. Research in Phenomenology 40 (2):267-280.
David DeGrazia (1996). Taking Animals Seriously: Mental Life and Moral Status. Cambridge University Press.
Marc Bekoff (2007). Animals Matter: A Biologist Explains Why We Should Treat Animals with Compassion and Respect. Distributed in the United States by Random House.
Joel Marks (2011). Veterinarian, Heal Thy Profession. Philosophy Now 85 (85):47.
Aysha Akhtar (2012). Animals and Public Health: Why Treating Animals Better is Critical to Human Welfare. Palgrave Macmillan.
Jacky Turner & Joyce D'Silva (eds.) (2006). Animals, Ethics, and Trade: The Challenge of Animal Sentience. Earthscan.
Kirsten Schmidt (2011). Concepts of Animal Welfare in Relation to Positions in Animal Ethics. Acta Biotheoretica 59 (2):153-171.
Added to index2011-02-12
Total downloads21 ( #137,372 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?