Developmental states are criticized for rapid “industrialization without enlightenment.” In the last 30 years, China’s breathtaking growth has been achieved at a high environmental and food safety cost. This article, utilizing a recent survey of China’s livestock industry, illustrates the initiating role of China’s developmental state in the exponential expansion of the country’s livestock production. The enthusiastic response of the livestock industry to the many state policy incentives has made China the world’s biggest animal farming nation. Shortage of (...) meat and dairy supply is history. Yet, the Chinese government is facing new challenges of no less a threat to political stability. Production intensification has created a welfare crisis impacting the world’s biggest number of farm animals. The resulting food safety incidents are affecting consumer confidence and health. Untreated waste contributes to the nation’s environmental degradation. Developmental states may have a proud record of growth in the initial stage of industrialization. Their prospects for sustained development have long been questioned. China has come to an important juncture to march towards a sustained development. (shrink)
Incidents of animal abuse in China attract worldwide media attention. Is China culturally inclined to animal cruelty, or is the country’s development strategy a better explanation? This article addresses the subject of animal protection in China, a topic that has been ignored for too long by Western China specialists. A review of ancient Chinese thought asks whether China lacks a legacy of compassion for animals. The article then considers how China’s reform politics underlie the animal (...) welfare crisis. Through its discussion of the welfare crisis impacting nonhuman animals in China, this paper sheds light on the enormity of the country’s animal protection challenge. It concludes with an optimistic prediction for the future, despite the obstacles that remain in the way of animal protection policy change. (shrink)
Animal welfare involves societal and human values, ethical concerns and moral considerations since it incorporates the belief of what is right or what is wrong in animal treatment and care. This paper aims to ascertain whether the different dimensions of individual attitudes toward animal welfare in food choices may be characterized by general human values, as identified by Schwartz. For this purpose, an EU-wide survey was carried out, covering almost 2500 nationally representative individuals from five European countries. (...) Compared with the previous literature this study shows a twofold novelty: it develops a general framework to link individual enduring beliefs and attitudes toward animal welfare attributes in food choices; the framework is analyzed within a broad-based cross-country study. Our empirical results prove that human values related to self-transcendence are strongly associated to overall animal welfare attitudes and especially to those explicitly related to food choices, while values related to the spheres of self-enhancement and conservatism are significantly associated to less sensitive attitudes to animal welfare. Moreover, our results appear to indicate that a determinant of animal welfarism in food choices is potentially associated to individual concerns regarding food safety issues. (shrink)
Traditionally, acts of civil disobedience are understood as a mechanism by which citizens may express dissatisfaction with a law of their country. That expression will typically be morally motivated, non-violent and aimed at changing their government’s policy, practice or law. Building on existing work, in this paper we explore the limits of one well-received definition of civil disobedience by considering the challenging case of the actions of animal activists at sea. Drawing on original interviews with advocates associated with (...) Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace and Humane Society International we find that even if animal activists are morally motivated and civil, the transnational nature of their activity makes it difficult to assess their intention to bring about a change in law or public policy. This means that a civil disobedience defence may not be available to activists operating across international borders. This raises important questions about the usefulness of the civil disobedience concept within the context of a globalised world. We conclude that while the actions of some anti-whaling activists may not meet definitions of civil disobedience as conventionally understood, this says more about the narrow way in which that concept has been traditionally defined, than it does about the type of activity some anti-whaling activists have undertaken in the Southern Ocean. Finally, we argue that activists wishing to make a stand against whaling may have no choice but to act as global citizens because policy change within a single nation-state is unlikely to lead to the cessation of this inherently transnational activity. (shrink)
On my view, every bone, every fossil, and every putrid whiff of carrion that one smells on a hike in the country is just as good evidence for a divine intervention as it is for the suffering of an animal.
Xenotransplantation, or the use of animal cells, tissues and organs for humans, has been promoted as an important solution to the worldwide shortage of organs. While scientific studies continue to be done to address problems of rejection and the possibility of animal-to-human virus transfer, socio-ethical and legal questions have also been raised around informed consent, life-long monitoring, animal welfare and animal rights, and appropriate regulatory practices. Many calls have also been made to consult publics before policy (...) decisions are made. This paper describes the Canadian public consultation process on xenotransplantation carried out by the Canadian Public Health Association in an arm’s length process from Health Canada, the ministry overseeing government health policy and regulation. Focusing on six citizen fora conducted around the country patterned after the citizen jury deliberative approach, the paper describes the citizen panelists’ recommendations to hold off on proceeding with clinical trials and the rationales behind this recommendation. The consultation process is discussed in the context of constructive technology assessment, a framework which argues for broader input into earlier stages of technology innovation, particularly at the technology design stage. (shrink)
BackgroundReducing the number of animals used in experiments has become a priority for the governments of many countries. For these reductions to occur, animal-free alternatives must be made more available and, crucially, must be embraced by researchers.MethodsWe conducted an international online survey for academics in the field of animal science to explore researchers’ attitudes towards the implementation of animal-free innovations. Through this survey, we address three key questions. The first question is whether scientists who use animals in (...) their research consider governmental goals for animal-free innovations achievable and whether they would support such goals. Secondly, responders were asked to rank the importance of ten roadblocks that could hamper the implementation of animal-free innovations. Finally, responders were asked whether they would migrate if increased animal research regulations in their country of residence restricted their research.ResultsWhile nearly half of the responders support governmental goals, the majority of researchers did not consider such goals achievable in their field within the near future. In terms of roadblocks for implementation of animal-free methods, ~ 80% of the responders considered ‘reliability’ as important, making it the most highly ranked roadblock. However, all other roadblocks were reported by most responders as somewhat important, suggesting that they must also be considered when addressing animal-free innovations. Importantly, a majority reported that they would consider migration to another country in response to a restrictive animal research policy. Thus, governments must consider the risk of researchers migrating to other institutes, states or countries, leading to a ‘brain-drain’ if policies are too strict or suitable animal-free alternatives are not available.ConclusionOur findings suggest that development and implementation of animal-free innovations are hampered by multiple factors. We outline three pillars concerning education, governmental influence and data sharing, the implementation of which may help to overcome these roadblocks to animal-free innovations. (shrink)
This review presents first ever literature survey on historical development of farm animal welfare indicators and assessment in the Danube region. This area, encompassing European Eastern countries and the Balkans, is to a large extent heterogeneous in terms of culture and language. However, international publications were disproportionally small compared to the amount of research institutions and animal welfare activities present in the region. Therefore, the authors aimed at investigating the published literature, focusing on country level and on (...) native languages. Data were collected for the 1980–2015 period referring to scientific papers published in international and national journals, papers and abstracts in proceedings of the international and national conferences, reviews, monographs, short communications, Ph.D., Master and Graduation theses. Welfare assessment of all farm animal species was observed including fish. Over 180 papers were in line with the preselected index. Data collected showed that publishing dynamics grew rapidly towards the last decade. Most of the studies were focused on animal welfare indicators such as stress, injuries and mutilations, behaviour, body condition and management practices. Cattle, chickens, pigs and sheep were the predominant species investigated. The study revealed that experts from the region were greatly involved in the studies of animal welfare indicators and assessment, contributing to development of the currently most widely used animal welfare assessment protocols, thus having an important role in animal welfare research and protection. (shrink)
When Benjamin Franklin suggested that man is by nature a tool-making animal, he summed up what was for his fellow Americans the common sense of the matter. It is not, then, surprising that, when Britain's colonists in North America broke with the mother country over the issue of an unrepresentative parliament's right to tax and govern the colonies, they defended their right to the property they owned on the ground that it was in a most thorough-going sense an (...) extension of themselves: the fruits of their own labor. This understanding they learned from John Locke, who based the argument of his Two Treatises of Government on the unorthodox account of providence and of man's place within the natural world that Sir Francis Bacon had been the first to articulate. All of this helps explain why the framers of the American constitution included within it a clause giving sanction to property in ideas of practical use. (shrink)
In an increasingly global landscape, NFP initiatives including those addressing animal protection, are increasingly operating cross-borders. Doing so without respect, local engagement, and a thorough understanding of the issues of concern is fraught with danger, and potentially wasteful of resources. To this purpose, we sought to understand attitudes to the importance of 13 major world social issues in relation to animal protection by surveying 3433 students from at least 103 universities across 12 nations. The emergence of a ‘nature (...) trifecta’ was suggested, with animal and environmental protection and sustainable development recurring as the most highly rated in importance across all countries, with these issues also consistently rating amongst the highest in each individual country. It is concluded that significant differences exist between attributed importance of world issues by nation, pointing towards the benefit of tailoring NFP initiatives by country and region. It is also suggested that nation, or more specifically, sociopolitical and cultural region, is a vitally important demographic for consideration in social development. (shrink)
The adult prison population in the U.S. is one of the most important, marginalized, yet misunderstood groups within the country. Not only is the population larger than those of other industrialized nations, but the prisons themselves also tend to be more punitive in nature. While there have been many proposed reasons for this, ranging from differences in the “American Character” to the increasing severity of mandatory sentencing guidelines, explanations of the American prisoner setting remain thin. One area that has (...) relevance to this topic but in which there has been little research is the language used to describe prisoners. This language is replete with images of nonhuman animals. Examples and explanations of this phenomenon are provided through the inspection of the lexicons and argots for animal themes, and implications regarding implicit power relationships and the effects on both prisoners and nonhuman animals stemming from this language are explored. (shrink)
Sociology and Animals : Beginnings -- Animals and Biology as Destiny -- Animals, Social Inequalities and Oppression -- Animals, Crime and Abuse -- Town and Country : Animals, Space and Place -- Consumption of the Animal -- Animals, Leisure and Culture -- Animal Experiments and Animal Rights -- Conclusion: Sociology for Other Animals.
In Norway, the production andconsumption of organic food is still small-scale. Research on attitudes towards organic farming in Norway has shown that most consumers find conventionally produced food to be “good enough.” The level of industrialization of agriculture and the existence of food scandals in a country will affect consumer demand for organically produced foods. Norway is an interesting case because of its small-scale agriculture, few problems with food-borne diseases, and low market share for organic food. Similarities between groups (...) of consumers and producers of food, organic and conventional, when it comes to attitudes concerning environment, use of gene technology, and animal welfare have implications for understanding market conditions for organically produced food. The results of our study indicate that organic farmers and organic consumers in Norway have common attitudes towards environmental questions and animal welfare in Norwegian agriculture. Conventional farmers have a higher degree of agreement with the way agriculture is carried out today. Unlike organic farmers and consumers, conventional farmers do not see major environmental problems and problems with animal welfare in today's farming system. But like the organic farmers and consumers, and to a stronger degree than conventional consumers, conventional farmers renounce gene technology as a solution to environmental problems in agriculture. These results are discussed in relation to their importance for the market situation for organically produced foods. (shrink)
The Netherlands is a small country with many people and much livestock. As a result, animals in nature reservations are often living near cattle farms. Therefore, people from the agricultural practices are afraid that wild animals will infect domestic livestock with diseases like Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth Disease. To protect agriculture (considered as an important economic practice), very strict regulations have been made for minimizing this risk. In this way, the practice of animal farming has been (...) dominating the practices of nature management completely. If, for instance, Foot and Mouth Disease strikes an agricultural area, all wild pigs and cattle living in the nearby nature reservations have to be killed, whether infected or not. This dominant position of one practice over the other has now become problematic. While the morality of the practice of nature management seems to be very different from the morality of agriculture and agriculture has become less important from an economic point of view, the public as well as those involved in nature management no longer seem to accept the dominant position of agriculture. Besides a literature study, we performed a field study with in-depth interviews with experts from both practices to analyze the dynamics of the internal moralities of both practices in the previous century, in order to clarify the contemporary situation. The conclusion was that the traditionally strong position of agriculture is not only weakening; it also appears that the internal values of agriculture are changing. The experts from both sides agreed that, in case of a disease outbreak, it is neither ethically justified nor necessary (because of the estimated low risk of disease transfer) to destroy the animals in nature reservations as a routine preventive measure. This is a major shift in morality. (shrink)
Proponents of the utilitarian animal welfare argument (AWA) for veganism maintain that it is reasonable to expect that adopting a vegan diet will decrease animal suffering. In this paper I argue otherwise. I maintain that (i) there are plausible scenarios in which refraining from meat-consumption will not decrease animal suffering; (ii) the utilitarian AWA rests on a false dilemma; and (iii) there are no reasonable grounds for the expectation that adopting a vegan diet will decrease animal (...) suffering. The paper is divided into four sections. In the first, I set out the utilitarian AWA in its original form. I give some background and I distinguish it from other, related arguments. In the second, I discuss the causal impotence objection, a popular objection to the utilitarian AWA. I explain how the objection works by means of a conceptual distinction between consumers and producers. In the third, I explain how proponents of the utilitarian AWA respond to this objection. In particular, I set out in some detail what I call the expected utility response. In the fourth and final section, I use the three objections noted above to explain why I do not find this response convincing. (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.
This is a chapter written for an audience that is not intimately familiar with the philosophy of animal consumption. It provides an overview of the harms that animals, the environment, and humans endure as a result of industrial animal agriculture, and it concludes with a defense of ostroveganism and a tentative defense of cultured meat.
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)
-/- This chapter evaluates the ethical issues that using cost-effectiveness considerations to set animal health priorities might present, and its conclusions are cautiously optimistic. While using cost-effectiveness calculations in animal health is not without ethical pitfalls, these calculations offer a pathway toward more rigorous priority-setting efforts that allow money spent on animal well-being to do more good. Although assessing quality of life for animals may be more challenging than in humans, implementing prioritization based on cost-effectiveness is less (...) ethically fraught. (shrink)
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.
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)
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.
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)
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.
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)
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)
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.
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".
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.
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)
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)
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)
An adequate theory of rights ought to forbid the harming of animals (human or nonhuman) to promote trivial interests of humans, as is often done in the animal-user industries. But what should the rights view say about situations in which harming some animals is necessary to prevent intolerable injustices to other animals? I develop an account of respectful treatment on which, under certain conditions, it’s justified to intentionally harm some individuals to prevent serious harm to others. This can be (...) compatible with recognizing the inherent value of the ones who are harmed. My theory has important implications for contemporary moral issues in nonhuman animal ethics, such as the development of cultured meat and animal research. (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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)