David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 19 (1):17-25 (2006)
Perhaps the commonest reasons for the keeping of pets are companionship and as a conduit for affection. Pets are, therefore, being “used” for human ends in much the same way as laboratory or farm animals. So shouldn’t the same arguments apply to the use of pets as to those used in other ways? In accepting the “rights” of farm animals to fully express their natural behavior, one must also accept the “right” of pets to express their intrinsic natural behavior. Dogs kept in houses for most of the day are being kept in an unnatural environment. So are rabbits kept in hutches, and guinea-pigs or birds in cages. These conditions infringe the animals’ telos. Dogs are naturally pack animals, so is a dog in isolation being denied its telos? Other actions more deliberately infringe telos and autonomy. Enforced shampooing – or even exercise; hair-cutting of poodles; putting animals in clothes; and tail-docking. If de-beaking of chickens is considered wrong, then the same must be true for tail-docking of dogs. One should also question the ethics of specialist breeding – especially when that results in physiological disadvantages (boxers with breathing troubles). There would appear to be no advantage to the animals in having such health problems and when these are the direct result of the breeders’ desire for specific cosmetic traits, we should question the ethics of the practice at least as much as when animals are bred for specific agricultural traits.
|Keywords||companion animals ethics pets speciesism|
|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
Kristien Hens (2009). Ethical Responsibilities Towards Dogs: An Inquiry Into the Dog–Human Relationship. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 22 (1):3-14.
Similar books and articles
Philip Howell (2002). A Place for the Animal Dead: Pets, Pet Cemeteries and Animal Ethics in Late Victorian Britain. Ethics, Place and Environment 5 (1):5 – 22.
Tony Milligan (2009). Dependent Companions. Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (4):402-413.
Terence J. Centner (2010). Limitations on the Confinement of Food Animals in the United States. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (5):469-486.
Holly L. Wilson (2011). Kant's Treatment of Animals. In Paul Pojman (ed.), Food Ethics. Wadsworth.
Gaverick Matheny & Kai M. A. Chan (2005). Human Diets and Animal Welfare: The Illogic of the Larder. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (6):579-594.
Stephen H. Webb (2002). Companion Animals and Us: Exploring the Relationships Between People and Pets. Ethics, Place and Environment 5 (3):292 – 294.
David Sztybel (2006). Can the Treatment of Animals Be Compared to the Holocaust? Ethics and the Environment 11 (1):97-132.
Kathy Rudy (2011). Loving Animals: Toward a New Animal Advocacy. Univ of Minnesota Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads21 ( #96,176 of 1,692,743 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #75,942 of 1,692,743 )
How can I increase my downloads?