Journal of Social Philosophy 47 (2):142-170 (2016)

Cheryl (C.E.) Abbate
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
In The Case for Animal Rights, Tom Regan argues that, in addition to the negative duty not to harm nonhuman animals, moral agents have a positive duty to assist nonhuman animals who are victims of injustice. This claim is not unproblematic because, in many cases, assisting a victim of injustice requires that we harm some other nonhuman animal(s). For instance, in order to feed victims of injustice who are obligate carnivores, we must kill some other animal(s). It seems, then, that sometimes the duty to assist nonhuman animals who are victims of injustice conflicts with the prima facie duty not to harm nonhuman animals. In defense of Regan’s theory against this apparent inconsistency, I introduce an additional principle, the “guardianship principle,” which can be used to illustrate how we can be justified, under certain conditions, in overriding our prima facie duty not to harm nonhuman animals in order to fulfill our duty to assist nonhuman animals who are victims of injustice.
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DOI 10.1111/josp.12146
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References found in this work BETA

The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan & Mary Midgley - 1986 - The Personalist Forum 2 (1):67-71.
Animal Liberation.Bill Puka & Peter Singer - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (4):557.
Practical Ethics.John Martin Fischer - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (2):264.
The Right and the Good.Some Problems in Ethics.W. D. Ross & H. W. B. Joseph - 1933 - Journal of Philosophy 30 (19):517-527.
Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases.Alastair Norcross - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):229–245.

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