Food Ethics 3 (1-2):91-108 (2019)

The “One Health” initiative promises to combine different health-related issues concerning humans and animals in an overarching concept and in related practices to the benefit of both humans and animals. Far from dismissing One Health, this paper nevertheless argues that different veterinary interventions are determined by social practices and connected expectations and are, thus, hardly compliant with only one single conceptualization of health, as the One Health concept suggests. One Health relies on a naturalistic understanding of health focusing on similar bodies that show a similar etiology. However, logics, normativity, and practices exhibit differences when it comes to combatting infectious diseases, maintaining productivity of livestock animals or preventing companion animals from suffering. Therefore, drawing from Charles Rosenberg’s groundbreaking texts on framing disease, we suggest to conceive of health as dispersed in different frames. Thus, this paper proposes to interpret health as complex and multi-layered concept. We distinguish and introduce an objectivist, a functional, and a sentientistic frame of health. Instead of reducing the differential veterinary practices to one paradigmatic understanding, health is seen as a model case of Wittgenstein’s concept of family resemblance. Different and distinct perspectives on veterinary medicine show sufficient overlapping that allows for a common conceptualization, but there is not one single underlying logic suitable to understand and ethically reflect all veterinary interventions. This differentiability promises to reduce moral stress in veterinary professionals since it allows the interpretation of various, seemingly contradicting practices as dependent on multi-layered and socially determined scopes of responsibility.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s41055-019-00038-4
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,199
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Intersectoral Healthcare Delivery.Constance M. McCorkle & Edward C. Green - 1998 - Agriculture and Human Values 15 (2):105-114.
Concepts of Health and Disease.Jozsef Kovacs - 1989 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 14 (3):261-267.
Animal Welfare and Animal Rights.Nadine Dolby & Annette Litster - 2019 - Society and Animals 27 (5-6):575-594.
Just Health Responsibility.H. Schmidt - 2009 - Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (1):21-26.
On Human Health.Piet van Spijk - 2015 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 18 (2):245-251.
From Needs to Health Care Needs.Erik Gustavsson - 2013 - Health Care Analysis (1):1-14.
Health as a Clinic-Epidemiological Concept.Marco Antonio Azevedo - 2015 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 21 (3):365-373.


Added to PP index

Total views
14 ( #734,864 of 2,517,926 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #409,045 of 2,517,926 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes