For their own good? The unseen harms of disenhancing farmed animals

In Cheryl Abbate & Christopher Bobier (eds.), New Omnivorism and Strict Veganism: Critical Perspectives. Routledge (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In recent years, some ethicists have defended that we should genetically engineer farmed animals to diminish or eliminate their capacity to experience negative affective states, a process known as disenhancement that would, according to these authors, result in a situation that is better than the status quo. While we agree with this overall assessment, we believe that it is a mistake to defend disenhancement as a good solution to farmed animals’ plight. This is because disenhancement entails some generally unseen harms that arise from the fact that negative affective states, despite feeling bad, support the access to a number of intrinsic goods, such as individuality, social relationships, meaning, and political participation. Though farmed animals currently have few opportunities to enjoy these goods, we argue that this is a reason to change the environment in which they are kept, not the animals. If we truly care about improving farmed animals’ lives, we should aim to enrich their environment, rather than impoverish their mental lives.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Humanely Killed?Jeff Johnson - 2015 - Journal of Animal Ethics 5 (2):123-125.
Two Arguments for Animal Immortality.Blake Hereth - 2017 - In Simon Cushing (ed.), Heaven and Philosophy. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. pp. 171-200.
A Kantian ethics of paradise engineering.Eze Paez - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):283-293.
Causal Inefficacy and Utilitarian Arguments Against the Consumption of Factory-Farmed Products.Moti Gorin - 2017 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 30 (4):585-594.
The Ethics of Touch and the Importance of Nonhuman Relationships in Animal Agriculture.Steve Cooke - 2021 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 34 (2):1-20.


Added to PP

205 (#93,227)

6 months
92 (#42,973)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Susana Monsó
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references