Animal ethics theory – University of Copenhagen

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Animal ethics theory

The value of animal life: How should we balance quality against quantity?

By P. Sandøe & S. B. Christiansen
Animal Welfare. UFAW. 2007


In many situations choices must be made that will have an impact on the welfare of companion animals. Often one of the options will be to euthanase the animal in question. The way in which one views this option will depend not only on ones assessment of the quality of the animals life (or the lives of other affected parties), but also on how one values an animal life as such.

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By P. Sandøe, R. Crisp & N. Holtug
Animal welfare. CABI. 1997


This is a discussion of views concerning how we ought to treat animals and of the justifications on which these views are based. First an account is given of what it is to justify a moral view. Secondly, the view that animals do not have moral standing and that therefore we have no direct duties to them is examined. Thirdly, four different views about the nature of our duties to animals are presented and discussed. They are: utilitarianism, the animal rights view, the species-integrity view, and the agent-centred view. Finally, it is discussed why it is important to hold a justified view concerning ones duties to animals. 

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