Animal rights and self-defense theory

Journal of Value Inquiry 43 (2):165-177 (2009)
In this paper I bring together self-defense theory and animal rights theory. The extension of self-defense theory to animals poses a serious problem for proponents of animal rights. If, in line with orthodox self-defense theory, a person is a legitimate target for third-party self-defensive violence if they are responsible for a morally unjustified harm without an acceptable excuse; and if, in line with animal rights theory, people that consume animal products are responsible for unjustified harm to animals, then many millions, if not billions, of otherwise law abiding and decent people will be legitimate targets for third-party self-defense violence on behalf of animals. I call this problem: the multiple inappropriate targets problem for animal rights.
Keywords Animal rights  Self-defense   Just war theory   Moral responsibility   Ethics   McMahan  Violence
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DOI 10.1007/s10790-009-9149-9
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