Animal Ethics - Introductory Texts – University of Copenhagen

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Animal Ethics - Introductory Texts

Animal Ethics 

By C. Palmer & P. Sandøe
Animal welfare. CABI. 2011 


This chapter describes and discusses different views concerning our duties towards animals. First, we explain why it is necessary to engage in thinking about animal ethics and why it is not enough to rely on feelings alone. Secondly, we present and discuss five different kinds of views about the nature of our duties to animals. They are: contractarianism, utilitarianism, the animal rights view, contextual views, and a respect for nature view. Finally, we briefly consider whether it is possible to combine elements from the presented views, and how to make up ones mind.

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Animal Futures: The changing face of animal ethics

By P. Sandøe & S. B. Christiansen
Ethical futures: Bioscience and food horizons. Wageningen Academic Publishers. 2009


The aim of this paper is to ask what moral views about the relationship between humans and animals will predominate in the future. The paper describes the emergence of new attitudes to animals in the western world over the past two centuries. This development is seen as a widening rather than a wholesale change of the moral agenda. The main headlines on that agenda are: that animals are there for us to use, anti-cruelty, animal welfare, animals as friends, respect for animals as part of nature, and animal rights. Debates or controversies concerning our interaction with and use of animals reflect the dilemmas and contradictions to which these points give rise. The future of animals will be shaped through these debates and controversies.

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