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Humanities LibreTexts

1.8: Introduction to Animal Ethics

  • Page ID
    31040
  • Finally, we will read the prefaces and introductions to our main texts. They are all interesting; Singer’s is especially important to the historic development of the animal movement. We can use Regan’s “cat case” and its variants as a unifying theme for inquiry. We will try to determine which broad view below is supported by the best moral reasons:

    1. Any (or almost any) use of animals is morally permissible; there are no moral obligations to animals.

    2. Seriously harming animals (e.g., causing them pain and suffering, killing them, etc.) is morally permissible provided they are housed in comfortable cages.

    3. Seriously harming animals is permissible provided they are housed in comfortable cages, treated gently and killed painlessly.

    4. Seriously harming animals is typically morally wrong, even if they are housed in comfortable cages, treated gently and killed painlessly.

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