Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 10 (3):314-324 (2001)
Genetic engineering is a social invention as much as a biological one. Ordinary citizens interested in the well-being of life on the planet should therefore be involved in the ethical debates concerning the future of nonhuman animals. The creations of genetic engineers ought to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by what the American philosopher R. G. Frey calls Frey is an advocate for putting animals in perspective, which means that animals matter, but not as much as humans. He therefore supports the prevailing moral orthodoxy, which currently in the West means that animals can be eaten, dissected, hunted, and exhibited, provided that these things are done humanely and that the benefits to humans outweigh the harms to the animals. The he suggests, would have no objection to humans killing animals as long as the animals do not suffer. In the present paper, my aim is to raise some of the ethical, welfare, and social issues from an animal-protectionist perspective which ordinary citizens would need to consider if they were ever asked to vote on the benefits or otherwise of the impact of genetic engineering on animal welfare
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