Buddhism and Animal Ethics

Philosophy Compass 12 (7):1-12 (2017)
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Abstract

This article provides a philosophical overview of some of the central Buddhist positions and argument regarding animal welfare. It introduces the Buddha's teaching of ahiṃsā or non-violence and rationally reconstructs five arguments from the context of early Indian Buddhism that aim to justify its extension to animals. These arguments appeal to the capacity and desire not to suffer, the virtue of compassion, as well as Buddhist views on the nature of self, karma, and reincarnation. This article also considers how versions of these arguments have been applied to address a practical issue in Buddhist ethics; whether Buddhists should be vegetarian.

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Bronwyn Finnigan
Australian National University

Citations of this work

Karma, Moral Responsibility and Buddhist Ethics.Bronwyn Finnigan - 2022 - In Manuel Vargas & John Doris (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. pp. 7-23.
Buddhism and effective altruism.Calvin Baker - 2022 - In Dominic Roser, Stefan Riedener & Markus Huppenbauer (eds.), Effective Altruism and Religion: Synergies, Tension, Dialogue. Nomos. pp. 17-45.

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