More than twenty years after its original publication, The Case for Animal Rights is an acknowledged classic of moral philosophy, and its author is recognized as the intellectual leader of the animal rights movement. In a new and fully considered preface, Regan responds to his critics and defends the book's revolutionary position.
Animals, the beautiful creatures of God in the Stoic and especially in Porphyry’s sense, need to be treated as rational. We know that the Stoics ask for justice to all rational beings, but I think there is no significant proclamation from their side that openly talks in favour of animal’s justice. They claim the rationality of animals but do not confer any right to human beings. The later Neo-Platonist philosopher Porphyry magnificently deciphers this idea in his writing On Abstinence (...) from Animal Food. Aristotle’s successor Theophrastus thinks that both animals and humans are made up of same tissues and like a human, animals also have the same way of perception, reasoning and appetites. My next effort would be to decipher how Porphyry illustrates Theophrastus’ perspective not in the way (the technical theory of justice) the Stoics argued. Porphyry’s stance seems more humanistic that looks for the pertinent reasons for treating animal rights from the contention of justice that Aristotle in his early writings defied since the animals can deal with reasons. The paper highlights on how much we could justificatorily demand the empathetic concern for animals from the outlook of the mentioned Greek thinkers and the modern animal rights thinkers as quasi-right of animals, even if my own position undertakes the empathetic ground for animals as an undeserving humanitarian way. (shrink)
In debates about animal sentience, the precautionary principle is often invoked. The idea is that when the evidence of sentience is inconclusive, we should “give the animal the benefit of the doubt” or “err on the side of caution” in formulating animal protection legislation. Yet there remains confusion as to whether it is appropriate to apply the precautionary principle in this context, and, if so, what “applying the precautionary principle” means in practice regarding the burden of proof (...) for animal sentience. Here I construct a version of the precautionary principle tailored to the question of animal sentience together with a practical framework for implementing it. I explain and defend the key features of this framework, argue that it is well-aligned with current practice in animal welfare science, and consider and reject a number of influential counterarguments to the use of precautionary reasoning in this area. (shrink)
It is a curious fact about mainstream discussions of animal rights that they are dominated by consequentialist defenses thereof, when consequentialism in general has been on the wane in other areas of moral philosophy. In this paper, I describe an alternative, non‐consequentialist ethical framework and argue that it grants animals more expansive rights than consequentialist proponents of animal rights typically grant. The cornerstone of this non‐consequentialist framework is the thought that the virtuous agent is s/he who has the (...) stable and dominating disposition to treat all conscious animals, including non‐human conscious animals, as ends and not mere means. (shrink)
Researchers have converged on the idea that a pragmatic understanding of communication can shed important light on the evolution of language. Accordingly, animal communication scientists have been keen to adopt insights from pragmatics research. Some authors couple their appeal to pragmatic aspects of communication with the claim that there are fundamental asymmetries between signalers and receivers in non-human animals. For example, in the case of primate vocal calls, signalers are said to produce signals unintentionally and mindlessly, whereas receivers are (...) thought to engage in contextual interpretation to derive the significance of signals. We argue that claims about signaler-receiver asymmetries are often confused. This is partly because their authors conflate two conceptions of pragmatics, which generate different accounts of the explanatory target for accounts of the evolution of language. Here we distinguish these conceptions, in order to help specify more precisely the proper explanatory target for language evolution research. (shrink)
Proponents of humane or traditional husbandry, in contrast to factory farming, often argue that maintaining meaningful relationships with animals entails working with them. Accordingly, they argue that animal liberation is misguided, since it appears to entail erasing our relationships to animals and depriving both us and them of valuable opportunities to live together. This chapter offers a critical examination of defense of animal husbandry based on the value of labour, in particular the view that farm animals could be (...) seen as workers, and what it entails. It then considers ways in which our relationships to domesticated species could be made meaningful, including through work, without entailing the premature killing of animals raised for food. Meaningful animal lives depend on a proper analysis of the meaning, and value, of labour, which this chapter argues is missing from labour-based defenses of humane husbandry. (shrink)
This article provides a philosophical overview of some of the central Buddhist positions and argument regarding animal welfare. It introduces the Buddha's teaching of ahiṃsā or non-violence and rationally reconstructs five arguments from the context of early Indian Buddhism that aim to justify its extension to animals. These arguments appeal to the capacity and desire not to suffer, the virtue of compassion, as well as Buddhist views on the nature of self, karma, and reincarnation. This article also considers how (...) versions of these arguments have been applied to address a practical issue in Buddhist ethics; whether Buddhists should be vegetarian. (shrink)
Peña-Guzmán (2017) argues that empirical evidence and evolutionary theory compel us to treat the phenomenon of suicide as continuous in the animal kingdom. He defends a “continuist” account in which suicide is a multiply-realizable phenomenon characterized by self-injurious and self-annihilative behaviors. This view is problematic for several reasons. First, it appears to mischaracterize the Darwinian view that mind is continuous in nature. Second, by focusing only on surface-level features of behavior, it groups causally and etiologically disparate phenomena under a (...) single conceptual umbrella, thereby reducing the account’s explanatory power. Third, it obscures existing analyses of suicide in biomedical ethics and animal welfare literatures. A more promising naturalistic approach might seek a theoretical understanding of the social/ecological circumstances that drive humans and perhaps other animals to self-destruction. (shrink)
A combined psychological-epistemological study of the blocks that stand in the way of the human recognition of the sentience and legal rights of non-human animals. Originally published in the Lewis and Clark law journal, Animal Law, and subsequently translated into German and into Portuguese.
In recent work, economist Yew-Kwang Ng suggests strategies for improving animal welfare within the confines of institutions such as the meat industry. Although I argue that Ng is wrong not to advocate abolition, I do find his position concerning wild animals to be compelling. Anyone who takes the interests of animals seriously should also accept a cautious commitment to intervention in the wild.
For many people "animal rights" suggests campaigns against factory farms, vivisection or other aspects of our woeful treatment of animals. Zoopolis moves beyond this familiar terrain, focusing not on what we must stop doing to animals, but on how we can establish positive and just relationships with different types of animals.
In this article, Palmer provides a clear survey of positions on killing domestic animals in animal shelters. She argues that there are three ways of understanding the killing that occurs in animal shelters: consequentialism, rights based, and relation based. She considers the relationship of humans and domesticated animals that leads to their killing in animal shelters as well as providing an ethical assessment of the practice.
This chapter introduces ans discusses different views concerning our duties towards animals. First, we explain why we should engage in reasoning about animal ethics, rather than relying on intuitions or feelings alone. Secondly, we present and discuss five different kinds of views about the nature of our duties to animals. These are: contractarianism, utilitarianism, animal rights views, contextual views and what we call a "respect for nature" view. Finally, we briefly consider whether it is possible to combine elements (...) from the views presented, and how to make up one’s mind. (shrink)
Animal ethics committees (AECs) appeal to utilitarian principles in their justification of animal experiments. Although AECs do not grant rights to animals, they do accept that animals have moral standing and should not be unnecessarily harmed. Although many appeal to utilitarian arguments in the justification of animal experiments, I argue that AECs routinely fall short of the requirements needed for such justification in a variety of ways. I argue that taking the moral status of animals seriously—even if (...) this falls short of granting rights to animals—should lead to a thorough revision or complete elimination of many of the current practices in animal experimentation. (shrink)
A study of the problem of animal souls as treated by Pierre Bayle in his article on Rorarius in the Dictionnaire. Early modern philosophers, if they rejected dualism, tended—as Bayle shows—to be driven either to materialism or to panpsychism.
Contemporary Indian identification with Hindu traditions (whether more narrowly or broadly conceived) among champions of animal protection often invokes the well-known concept of ahiṁṣā—nonviolence, as the moral basis for the position against violence toward non-human animals. To foster a more informed comprehension of this notion, this paper sets out the complex character of religious practice as presented in the Hindu scripture Bhagavad-gītā, to explore how its tenets might meaningfully apply to the practice of animal experimentation.
The article investigates the possibilities of phenomenology to contribute to the study of animal behaviour, and, respectively, asks how and on what grounds phenomenology can benefit from the research done within empirical sciences. The theoretical point of departure is Maurice Merleau-Ponty's The Structure of Behavior and the essay "The Metaphysical in Man".
The end of human history is an event that has been foreseen or announced by both messianics and dialecticians. But who is the protagonist of that history that is coming—or has come—to a close? What is man? How did he come on the scene? And how has he maintained his privileged place as the master of, or first among, the animals? In The Open, contemporary Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben considers the ways in which the “human” has been thought of as (...) either a distinct and superior type of animal, or a kind of being that is essentially different from animal altogether. In an argument that ranges from ancient Greek, Christian, and Jewish texts to twentieth-century thinkers such as Heidegger, Benjamin, and Kojève, Agamben examines the ways in which the distinction between man and animal has been manufactured by the logical presuppositions of Western thought, and he investigates the profound implications that the man/animal distinction has had for disciplines as seemingly disparate as philosophy, law, anthropology, medicine, and politics. (shrink)
When consumers choose to abstain from purchasing meat, they face some uncertainty about whether their decisions will have an impact on the number of animals raised and killed. Consequentialists have argued that this uncertainty should not dissuade consumers from a vegetarian diet because the “expected” impact, or average impact, will be predictable. Recently, however, critics have argued that the expected marginal impact of a consumer change is likely to be much smaller or more radically unpredictable than previously thought. This objection (...) to the consequentialist case for vegetarianism is known as the “causal inefficacy” (or “causal impotence”) objection. In this paper, we argue that the inefficacy objection fails. First, we summarize the contours of the objection and the standard “expected impact” response to it. Second, we examine and rebut two contemporary attempts (by Mark Budolfson and Ted Warfield) to defeat the expected impact reply through alleged demonstrations of the inefficacy of abstaining from meat consumption. Third, we argue that there are good reasons to believe that single individual consumers—not just individual consumers taken as an aggregate—really do make a positive difference when they choose to abstain from meat consumption. Our case rests on three economic observations: (i) animal producers operate in a highly competitive environment, (ii) complex supply chains efficiently communicate some information about product demand, and (iii) consumers of plant-based meat alternatives have positive consumption spillover effects on other consumers. (shrink)
This article brings animal protection theory to bear on Temple Grandin’s work, in her capacity both as a designer of slaughter facilities and as an advocate for omnivorism. Animal protection is a better term for what is often termed animal rights, given that many of the theories grouped under the animal rights label do not extend the concept of rights to animals. I outline the nature of Grandin’s system of humane slaughter as it pertains to cattle. (...) I then outline four arguments Grandin has made defending meat-eating. On a protection-based approach, I argue, Grandin’s system of slaughter is superior to its traditional counterpart. Grandin’s success as a designer of humane slaughterhouses however is not matched by any corresponding success in offering a moral defence of meat-eating. Despite, or perhaps because of, the popularity of her work, Grandin’s arguments for continuing to eat animals are noteworthy only in how disappointing and rudimentary they are. If we can thank Grandin for making a difference in the lives of millions of farm animals, her work can also be criticized for not engaging the moral status of animals with the depth and rigor that it deserves. (shrink)
Utilitarianism has an apparent pedigree when it comes to animal welfare. It supports the view that animal welfare matters just as much as human welfare. And many utilitarians support and oppose various practices in line with more mainstream concern over animal welfare, such as that we should not kill animals for food or other uses, and that we ought not to torture animals for fun. This relationship has come under tension from many directions. The aim of this (...) article is to add further considerations in support of that tension. I suggest three ways in which utilitarianism comes significantly apart from mainstream concerns with animal welfare. First, utilitarianism opposes animal cruelty only when it offers an inefficient ratio of pleasure to pain; while this may be true of eating animal products, it is not obviously true of other abuses. Second, utilitarianism faces a familiar problem of the inefficacy of individual decisions; I consider a common response to this worry, and offer further concerns. Finally, the common utilitarian argument against animal cruelty ignores various pleasures that humans may get from the superior status that a structure supporting exploitation confers. (shrink)
Philosophers and cognitive scientists have worried that research on animal mind-reading faces a ‘logical problem’: the difficulty of experimentally determining whether animals represent mental states (e.g. seeing) or merely the observable evidence (e.g. line-of-gaze) for those mental states. The most impressive attempt to confront this problem has been mounted recently by Robert Lurz. However, Lurz' approach faces its own logical problem, revealing this challenge to be a special case of the more general problem of distal content. Moreover, participants in (...) this debate do not agree on criteria for representation. As such, future debate should either abandon the representational idiom or confront underlying semantic disagreements. (shrink)
Most people believe that suffering is intrinsically bad. In conjunction with facts about our world and plausible moral principles, this yields a pro tanto obligation to reduce suffering. This is the intuitive starting point for the moral argument in favor of interventions to prevent wild animal suffering. If we accept the moral principle that we ought, pro tanto, to reduce the suffering of all sentient creatures, and we recognize the prevalence of suffering in the wild, then we seem committed (...) to the existence of such a pro tanto obligation. Of course, competing values such as the aesthetic, scientific or moral values of species, biodiversity, naturalness or wildness, might be relevant to the all-things-considered case for or against intervention. Still, many argue that, even if we were to give some weight to such values, no plausible theory could resist the conclusion that WAS is overridingly important. This article is concerned with large-scale interventions to prevent WAS and their tractability and the deep epistemic problem they raise. We concede that suffering gives us a reason to prevent it where it occurs, but we argue that the nature of ecosystems leaves us with no reason to predict that interventions would reduce, rather than exacerbate, suffering. We consider two interventions, based on gene editing technology, proposed as holding promise to prevent WAS; raise epistemic concerns about them; discuss their potential moral costs; and conclude by proposing a way forward: to justify interventions to prevent WAS, we need to develop models that predict the effects of interventions on biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and animals’ well-being. (shrink)
This book offers a powerful response to what Varner calls the "two dogmas of environmental ethics"--the assumptions that animal rights philosophies and anthropocentric views are each antithetical to sound environmental policy. Allowing that every living organism has interests which ought, other things being equal, to be protected, Varner contends that some interests take priority over others. He defends both a sentientist principle giving priority to the lives of organisms with conscious desires and an anthropocentric principle giving priority to certain (...) very inclusive interests which only humans have. He then shows that these principles not only comport with but provide significant support for environmental goals. (shrink)
Introduction: The role of animals in philosophies of man -- Part I: What's wrong with animal rights? -- The right to remain silent -- Part II: Animal pedagogy -- You are what you eat : Rousseau's cat -- Say the human responded : Herder's sheep -- Part III: Difference worthy of its name -- Hair of the dog : Derrida's and Rousseau's good taste -- Sexual difference, animal difference : Derrida's sexy silkworm -- Part IV: It's our (...) fault -- The beaver's struggle with species-being : De Beauvoir and the praying mantis -- Answering the call of nature : Lacan walking the dog -- Part V: Estranged kinship -- The abyss between humans and animals : Heidegger puts the bee in being -- Strange kinship : Merleau-Ponty's sensuous stickleback -- Stopping the anthropological machine : Agamben's tick-tocking tick -- Psychoanalysis and the science of kinship -- Psychoanalysis as animal by-product : Freud's zoophilia -- Animal abjects, maternal abjects : Kristeva's strays -- Conclusion: Sustainable ethics. (shrink)
What can we infer from numerical cognition about mathematical realism? In this paper, I will consider one aspect of numerical cognition that has received little attention in the literature: the remarkable similarities of numerical cognitive capacities across many animal species. This Invariantism in Numerical Cognition (INC) indicates that mathematics and morality are disanalogous in an important respect: proto-moral beliefs differ substantially between animal species, whereas proto-mathematical beliefs (at least in the animals studied) seem to show more similarities. This (...) makes moral beliefs more susceptible to a contingency challenge from evolution compared to mathematical beliefs, and indicates that mathematical beliefs might be less vulnerable to evolutionary debunking arguments. I will then examine to what extent INC can be used to flesh out a positive case for mathematical realism. Finally, I will review two forms of mathematical realism that are promising in the light of the evolutionary evidence about numerical cognition, ante rem structuralism and Millean empiricism. (shrink)
Empirical studies of the social lives of non-human primates, cetaceans, and other social animals have prompted scientists and philosophers to debate the question of whether morality and moral cognition exists in non-human animals. Some researchers have argued that morality does exist in several animal species, others that these species may possess various evolutionary building blocks or precursors to morality, but not quite the genuine article, while some have argued that nothing remotely resembling morality can be found in any non-human (...) species. However, these different positions on animal morality generally appear to be motivated more by different conceptions of how the term “morality” is to be defined than by empirical disagreements about animal social behaviour and psychology. After delving deeper into the goals and methodologies of various of the protagonists, I argue that, despite appearances, there are actually two importantly distinct debates over animal morality going on, corresponding to two quite different ways of thinking about what it is to define “morality”, “moral cognition”, and associated notions. Several apparent skirmishes in the literature are thus cases of researchers simply talking past each other. I then focus on what I take to be the core debate over animal morality, which is concerned with understanding the nature and phylogenetic distribution of morality conceived as a psychological natural kind. I argue that this debate is in fact largely terminological and non-substantive. Finally, I reflect on how this core debate might best be re-framed. (shrink)
Geography, as a discipline, has provided significant leadership in explicating the history and cultural construction of human and nonhuman animal relations, as well as their gendered and racialized character and their economic embeddedness. This work must continue. There are wide areas of barely touched terrain in comparative cultural analyses, economies of animal bodies, and the geographical history of human-animal relations that need articulation and examination. The struggles between groups to create their “places,” livelihoods, and future visions also (...) will be struggles to impose particular narratives and representations as the correct interpretation. (shrink)
Recent decades have witnessed the rise of chefs to a position of cultural prominence. This rise has coincided with increased consciousness of ethical issues pertaining to food, particularly as they concern animals. We rank cookbooks by celebrity chefs according to the minimum number of sentient animals that must be killed to make their recipes. On our stipulative definition, celebrity chefs are those with their own television show on a national network in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada or Australia. (...) Thirty cookbooks by 26 such chefs were categorized according to the total number of cows, pigs, chicken, fish and other species they included as ingredients. The total number of animals killed was divided by the number of non-dessert recipes to generate an average number of animal deaths per recipe for each book. We outline the rationale for our project and its methodology before presenting a ranked table of 30 cookbooks by celebrity chefs. This method generates several interesting findings. The first concerns the wide variation in animal fatalities among cookbooks. The chef with the heaviest animal footprint killed 5.25 animals per recipe, while the omnivorous chef with the smallest footprints killed 0.19 per recipe. Clearly, not all approaches to meat eating are equal when it comes to their animal mortality rate. Pigs and large ruminants are all substantially bigger than poultry, which are themselves bigger than many fish. The prime determinant of a chef’s place in the index was the number of small animals his or her recipes required. Whether a chef cooked in the style of a particular cuisine (Italian, French, Mexican etc.), by contrast, had no discernible influence on his or her ranking. We analyze how different chefs present themselves—as either especially sensitive or insensitive to ethical issues involving animals and food—and note cases where these presentations do or do not match their index ranking. -/- . (shrink)
This introductory chapter explains the coverage of this book, which is about animal rationality and mental processing in animals. This book discusses the theoretical issues and distinctions that bear on attributions of rationality to animals and draws some contrasts between rationality and certain other traits of animals to determine the relationships between them. It explores the relations between behaviour and the processes that explain behaviour, and the senses in which animal behaviour might be rational in virtue of features (...) other than classical reasoning processes on the human model. -/- . (shrink)
To study animal welfare empirically we need an objective basis for deciding when an animal is suffering. Suffering includes a wide range ofunpleasant emotional states such as fear, boredom, pain, and hunger. Suffering has evolved as a mechanism for avoiding sources ofdanger and threats to fitness. Captive animals often suffer in situations in which they are prevented from doing something that they are highly motivated to do. The an animal is prepared to pay to attain or to (...) escape a situation is an index ofhow the animal about that situation. Withholding conditions or commodities for which an animal shows (i.e., for which it continues to work despite increasing costs) is very likely to cause suffering. In designing environments for animals in zoos, farms, and laboratories, priority should be given to features for which animals show inelastic demand. The care ofanimals can thereby be based on an objective, animal-centered assessment of their needs. (shrink)
Since its original publication in 1975, this groundbreaking work has awakened millions of people to the existence of "speciesism"âour systematic disregard of nonhuman animalsâinspiring a worldwide movement to transform our attitudes to animals and eliminate the cruelty we inflict on them. In Animal Liberation, author Peter Singer exposes the chilling realities of today’s "factory farms" and product-testing proceduresâdestroying the spurious justifications behind them, and offering alternatives to what has become a profound environmental and social as well as moral issue. (...) An important and persuasive appeal to conscience, fairness, decency, and justice, it is essential reading for the supporter and the skeptic alike. (shrink)
In Animal Rites, Cary Wolfe examines contemporary notions of humanism and ethics by reconstructing a little known but crucial underground tradition of theorizing the animal from Wittgenstein, Cavell, and Lyotard to Lévinas, Derrida, ...
The moral status of animals is a subject of controversy both within and beyond academic philosophy, especially regarding the question of whether and when it is ethical to eat meat. A commitment to animal rights and related notions of animal protection is often thought to entail a plant-based diet, but recent philosophical work challenges this view by arguing that, even if animals warrant a high degree of moral standing, we are permitted - or even obliged - to eat (...) meat. Andy Lamey provides critical analysis of past and present dialogues surrounding animal rights, discussing topics including plant agriculture, animal cognition, and in vitro meat. He documents the trend toward a new kind of omnivorism that justifies meat-eating within a framework of animal protection, and evaluates for the first time which forms of this new omnivorism can be ethically justified, providing crucial guidance for philosophers as well as researchers in culture and agriculture. (shrink)
Conwy Lloyd Morgan (1852–1936) is widely regarded as the father of modern comparative psychology. Yet, Morgan initially had significant doubts about whether a genuine science of comparative psychology was even possible, only later becoming more optimistic about our ability to make reliable inferences about the mental capacities of non-human animals. There has been a fair amount of disagreement amongst scholars of Morgan’s work about the nature, timing, and causes of this shift in Morgan’s thinking. We argue that Morgan underwent two (...) quite different shifts of attitude towards the proper practice of comparative psychology. The first was a qualified acceptance of the Romanesian approach to comparative psychology that he had initially criticized. The second was a shift away from Romanes’ reliance on systematizing anecdotal evidence of animal intelligence towards an experimental approach, focused on studying the development of behaviour. We emphasize the role of Morgan’s evolving epistemological views in bringing about the first shift – in particular, his philosophy of science. We emphasize the role of an intriguing but overlooked figure in the history of comparative psychology in explaining the second shift, T. Mann Jones, whose correspondence with Morgan provided an important catalyst for Morgan’s experimental turn, particularly the special focus on development. We also shed light on the intended function of Morgan’s Canon, the methodological principle for which Morgan is now mostly known. The Canon can only be properly understood by seeing it in the context of Morgan’s own unique experimental vision for comparative psychology. (shrink)
In this paper I consider whether traditional behaviors of animals, like traditions of humans, are transmitted by imitation learning. Review of the literature on problem solving by captive primates, and detailed consideration of two widely cited instances of purported learning by imitation and of culture in free-living primates (sweet-potato washing by Japanese macaques and termite fishing by chimpanzees), suggests that nonhuman primates do not learn to solve problems by imitation. It may, therefore, be misleading to treat animal traditions and (...) human culture as homologous (rather than analogous) and to refer to animal traditions as cultural. (shrink)
In my forthcoming book, How to Count Animals, More or Less (based on my 2016 Uehiro Lectures in Practical Ethics), I argue for a hierarchical approach to animal ethics according to which animals have moral standing but nonetheless have a lower moral status than people have. This essay is an overview of that book, drawing primarily from selections from its beginning and end, aiming both to give a feel for the overall project and to indicate the general shape of (...) the hierarchical position that I defend there. In this essay, I contrast the hierarchical approach with its most important rival (which holds that people and animals have the very same moral status), sketch the main idea behind one central argument for hierarchy, and briefly review three potentially troubling implications of the hierarchical view. I close with a discussion of a promising possible solution to the most worrisome of the three objections. (shrink)
In Otherwise than Being, Levinas writes that the alterity of the Other escapes “le flair animal,” or the animal’s sense of smell. This paper puts pressure on the strong human-animal distinction that Levinas makes by considering the possibility that, while non-human animals may not respond to the alterity of the Other in the way that Levinas describes as responsibility, animal sensibility plays a key role in a relation to Others that Levinas does not discuss at length: (...) friendship. This approach to friendship addresses a gap in Levinas’ work between the absolute Other for whom I am responsible and the “brother” who is my political equal. (shrink)
More than twenty years after its original publication, _The Case for Animal Rights _is an acknowledged classic of moral philosophy, and its author is recognized as the intellectual leader of the animal rights movement. In a new and fully considered preface, Regan responds to his critics and defends the book's revolutionary position.
Problems of and explanations for evil -- Neo-cartesianism -- Animal suffering and the fall -- Nobility, flourishing, and immortality : animal pain and animal well-being -- Natural evil, nomic regularity, and animal suffering -- Chaos, order, and evolution -- Combining CDs.
Cass Sunstein and Martha Nussbaum bring together an all-star cast of contributors to explore the legal and political issues that underlie the campaign for animal rights and the opposition to it. Addressing ethical questions about ownership, protection against unjustified suffering, and the ability of animals to make their own choices free from human control, the authors offer numerous different perspectives on animal rights and animal welfare. They show that whatever one's ultimate conclusions, the relationship between human beings (...) and nonhuman animals is being fundamentally rethought. This book offers a state-of-the-art treatment of that rethinking. (shrink)
In this paper, we present three necessary conditions for morally responsible animal research that we believe people on both sides of this debate can accept. Specifically, we argue that, even if human beings have higher moral status than nonhuman animals, animal research is morally permissible only if it satisfies (a) an expectation of sufficient net benefit, (b) a worthwhile-life condition, and (c) a no unnecessary-harm/qualified-basic-needs condition. We then claim that, whether or not these necessary conditions are jointly sufficient (...) conditions of justified animal research, they are relatively demanding with the consequence that many animal experiments may fail to satisfy them. (shrink)
The results of an empirical study intoperceptions of the treatment of farm animals inthe Netherlands are presented. A qualitativeapproach, based on in-depth interviews withmeat livestock farmers and consumers was chosenin order to assess motivations behindperceptions and to gain insight into the waypeople deal with possible discrepancies betweentheir perceptions and their daily practices.Perceptions are analyzed with the help of aframe of reference, which consists ofvalues, norms, convictions, interests, andknowledge.The perceptions of the interviewed farmersare quite consistent and without exceptionpositive: according to them, (...) nothing is wrongwith animal welfare in livestock breeding. Theperceptions of the consumers we interviewed aremore divergent, but generally negative. Bothgroups show ambivalence as a result ofdiscrepancies between perceptions and behavior.Although the consumers share the impressionthat the living conditions of livestock animalsare far from optimal, most of them still buyand eat meat from the meat industry. Thefarmers believe the welfare of their animals isgood, but, as frequent defensive utterancesshow, they feel uncomfortable with expressed orunexpressed accusations of mistreating animals.The ways the respondents deal with thisambivalence were analysed by drawing ontheories of dissonance reduction and distancing devices. (shrink)
Animal rights and moral theories -- Arguing for one's species -- Utilitarianism and animals : Peter Singer's case for animal liberation -- Tom Regan : animal rights as natural rights -- Virtue ethics and animals -- Contractarianism and animal rights -- Animal minds.
Recent policy developments in the area of livestock husbandry have suggested that, from the perspective of optimizing animal welfare, new animal husbandry systems should be developed that provide opportunities for livestock animals to be raised in environments where they are permitted to engage in “natural behavior.” It is not known whether consumers regard animal husbandry issues as important, and whether they differentiate between animal husbandry and other animal welfare issues. The responsibility for the development of (...) such systems is allocated jointly between farmers, regulators, different actors in the food chain, and consumers. This research focuses on understanding consumer attitudes and preferences regarding the development and introduction of such systems, to ensure that they are acceptable to consumers as well as producers, regulators, and scientists. Consumer perceptions of animal welfare and animal husbandry practices were evaluated using quantitative consumer survey, which focused on two animal husbandry issues – farmed pigs and farmed fish. Following pilot work, 1000 representative Dutch consumers were sampled about their attitudes to either pig or fish husbandry. The results indicated that consumers think about animal welfare in terms of two broad categories related to their health and living environment, but do not think about welfare issues at a more detailed level. Greater concern was expressed about the welfare of pigs compared to fish. Consumer trust in labeling also emerged as an important issue, since consumers need to trust different food chain actors with responsibility for promoting animal welfare, and are reluctant to consider the details of animal husbandry systems. As a consequence, a transparent, enforceable, and traceable monitoring system for animal welfare friendly products is likely to be important for consumers. (shrink)
Decisions related to animal welfare standards depend on farmer’s multiple goals and values and are constrained by a wide range of external and internal forces. The aim of this paper is twofold, i.e., to develop a theoretical framework for farmers’ AW decisions that incorporates farmers’ goals, use and non-use values and to present an approach to empirically implement the theoretical framework. The farmer as a head of the farm household makes choices regarding production to maximize the utility of the (...) household. The overall utility of the farmer is determined by his multiple objectives. For the analysis of multi-objective problems, the multiple criteria decision - making paradigm provides an appropriate theoretical framework. However, theories from the field of social-psychology are needed to facilitate the identification of all relevant aspects in the decision making. The practical use of the conceptual framework is demonstrated using a simple numerical application of a multi-objective programming model. Two workshops were devoted to examining the scientific consistency and the practical usefulness of the approach. Implementing this approach will increase knowledge of the main factors and barriers that determine farmers’ decisions with regard to AW standards. This knowledge is relevant during the development of new AW concepts that aims to supply products that comply with above-legal AW standards for middle-market segments. (shrink)
In his paper The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken problem (Nanoethics 2:305–316, 2008) Paul Thompson argues that the possibility of disenhancing animals in order to improve animal welfare poses a philosophical conundrum. Although many people intuitively think such disenhancement would be morally impermissible, it’s difficult to find good arguments to support such intuitions. In this brief response to Thompson, I accept that there’s a conundrum here. But I argue that if we seriously consider whether creating (...) beings can harm or benefit them, and introduce the non-identity problem to discussions of animal disehancement, the conundrum is even deeper than Thompson suggests. (shrink)