The mere considerability of animals

Acta Analytica 16:89-108 (2001)
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Abstract

Singer and Regan predicate their arguments -- for ethical vegetarianism, against animal experimentation, and for an end to animal exploitation generally -- on the equal considerability premise (EC). According to (EC), we owe humans and sentient nonhumans exactly the same degree of moral considerability. While Singer's and Regan's conclusions follow from (EC), many philosophers reject their arguments because they find (EC)'s implications morally repugnant and intuitively unacceptable. Like most people, you probably reject (EC). Never the less, you're already committed to the mere considerability premise -- the premise that sentient nonhuman animals deserve some moral consideration, although not as much consideration as that owed humans. I argue that the mere considerability premise entails that vegetarianism is morally obligatory in most contexts and that animal experimentation is almost always wrong. Since you accept the mere considerability premise, you are already rationally committed to the immorality of eating meat and the wrongfulness of most animal experimentation. Hence, moral consistency requires that you stop eating meat and stop purchasing products tested on animals.

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Mylan Engel Jr
Northern Illinois University

Citations of this work

In Defense of Eating Meat.Timothy Hsiao - 2015 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (2):277-291.
Industrial Farming is Not Cruel to Animals.Timothy Hsiao - 2017 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 30 (1):37-54.
Virtues and Animals: A Minimally Decent Ethic for Practical Living in a Non-ideal World.Cheryl Abbate - 2014 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 27 (6):909-929.
The Commonsense Case for Ethical Vegetarianism.Mylan Engel Jr - 2016 - Between the Species: A Journal of Ethics 19 (1):2-31.
Moral Considerability: Deontological, not Metaphysical. Hale - 2011 - Ethics and the Environment 16 (2):37-62.

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