Duties to Companion Animals

Res Publica 17 (3):261-274 (2011)

Abstract

This paper outlines the moral contours of human relationships with companion animals. The paper details three sources of duties to and regarding companion animals: (1) from the animal’s status as property, (2) from the animal’s position in relationships of care, love, and dependency, and (3) from the animal’s status as a sentient being with a good of its own. These three sources of duties supplement one another and not only differentiate relationships with companion animals from wild animals and other categories of domestic animals such as livestock, but they also overlap to provide moral agents with additional reasons for preventing and avoiding harm to companion animals. The paper concludes that not only do owners and bystanders have direct and indirect duties to protect companion animals from harm, but also that these duties have the potential, in some circumstances, to clash with duties owed to the state and fellow citizens.

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Author's Profile

Steve Cooke
University of Leicester

References found in this work

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Noûs. Oxford University Press. pp. 425-434.
Animal Liberation.Bill Puka & Peter Singer - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (4):557.

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Citations of this work

How Bad Can a Good Enough Parent Be?Liam Shields - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):163-182.
Parental Rights and the Importance of Being Parents.Liam Shields - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (2):1-15.
Parental Rights and the Importance of Being Parents.Liam Shields - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (2):119-133.

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