Sofia M.I. Jeppsson
Umeå University
Martha Nussbaum argues that animals are entitled to a flourishing life according to the norm for their species. Nussbaum furthermore suggests that in the case of dogs, breed norms as well as species norms are relevant. Her theses capture both common intuitions among laypeople according to which there is something wrong with the breeding of “unnatural” animals, or animals that are too different from their wild ancestors, and the dog enthusiast’s belief that dogs departing from the norms for their breed are tragic. I argue that the high diversity of the dog species and the ultimate arbitrariness of breed norms support the thesis that a conception of welfare must be tied to what the individual requires in order to flourish. In the second part of the paper, I discuss the implications that an individualized welfare conception has for the breeding of dogs for conformation shows, for the pet market and for the performance of various tasks for which we need working dogs.
Keywords Animal welfare  Animal breeding  Dog breeding  Preferentialism  Flourishing  Species norm  Martha Nussbaum
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-016-9612-0
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Purebred Dogs and Canine Wellbeing.Sofia Jeppsson - 2014 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 27 (3):417-430.

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