Online Survey on Ethics and Animals

Animal Person

Covering both moral and strategic issues, the "Ethics and Animals" survey will provide a snapshot of our movement as of the present moment. Tags: Activism Current Affairs Ethics Language A new survey is getting the attention of many within the global animal protection community. Everyone is invited to participate and share their views on what's best for animals.

Ethics 101

Moral Vegetarianism, Part 13 of 13

Animal Ethics

For an explanation of this feature, click on “Moral Vegetarianism” at the bottom of this post. CONCLUSION There is no doubt that moral vegetarianism will continue to be a position that attracts people concerned with the plight of animals and with humanitarian goals. Although I have found no compelling moral arguments for vegetarianism, there still may be reasons why morally sensitive people would wish to become vegetarians. Tags: Moral Vegetarianism

Trending Sources

Moral Vegetarianism, Part 6 of 13

Animal Ethics

For an explanation of this feature, click on “Moral Vegetarianism” at the bottom of this post. One might assume—although again this assumption may not be jusitified [sic]—that Mr. Morse was using this consideration as a moral argument for vegetarianism. But what exactly does the argument construed as a moral argument amount to? Even granted the premises, the moral conclusion does not follow from the factual premises. Tags: Moral Vegetarianism

Moral Vegetarianism, Part 5 of 13

Animal Ethics

For an explanation of this feature, click on “Moral Vegetarianism” at the bottom of this post. ARGUMENTS FOR MORAL VEGETARIANISM A variety of arguments have been given for vegetarianism. Sometimes they take such a sketchy form that it is not completely clear they are moral arguments. I outline two arguments of this sort in what follows in order to illustrate some of the difficulties in evaluating moral vegetarianism. Tags: Moral Vegetarianism

Moral Vegetarianism, Part 4 of 13

Animal Ethics

For an explanation of this feature, click on “Moral Vegetarianism” at the bottom of this post. For example, if one could pick up shed animal legs in a pasture in which animals roam freely among their own kind, there might be no moral objection to eating the legs. If, on the other hand, the legs are produced in factory conditions, there is a moral objection. They suggest that any simple moral vegetarianism is impossible. Tags: Moral Vegetarianism

J. J. C. Smart on the Moral Elite

Animal Ethics

Let us think of the more moral members of society as a moral elite, much as the generality of scientists form a scientific elite. I hope I do not need to stress that such a moral elite must not be confused with a social or intellectual elite.

J. Baird Callicott on Environmental Ethics

Animal Ethics

There are intractable practical differences between environmental ethics and the animal liberation movement. Very different moral obligations follow in respect, most importantly, to domestic animals, the principal beneficiaries of the humane ethic. Environmental ethics sets a very low priority on domestic animals as they very frequently contribute to the erosion of the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic communities into which they have been insinuated.

Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900) on Received Morality

Animal Ethics

Again, all or most men in whom the moral consciousness is strongly developed find themselves from time to time in conflict with the commonly received morality of the society to which they belong: and thus—as was before said—have a crucial experience proving that duty does not mean to them what other men will disapprove of them for not doing. Henry Sidgwick, The Methods of Ethics , 7th ed.

Meat, Cancer, and the Cumulative Case for Ethical Vegetarianism

Animal Ethics

Ethical vegetarianism is the thesis that killing and eating animals is morally wrong whenever equally nutritious plant-based alternatives are available. The case for ethical vegetarianism starts with several uncontroversial premises. Causing an animal to suffer for no good reason is cruel, and our ordinary commonsense morality tells us in no uncertain terms that cruelty is wrong. And there are ethical reasons for becoming vegetarian. Ethical synergy at work

J. J. C. Smart on the Moral Status of Animals

Animal Ethics

In the past I have been concerned to advocate a normative utilitarian theory from the point of view of a non-cognitivist meta-ethics. I assumed that Hume was right in thinking that ultimately morality depends on how we feel about things. If so, then he is to be excused; but nobody today can think that any particular moral theory has an advantage over the others based on the status it accords animals.

Hal Herzog's "Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat"

Animal Person

He is an unabashed speciesist, putting humans on “a different moral plane from that of other animals” (11) due to various reasons, such as our “vastly greater capacity for symbolic language, culture, and ethical judgment” (11). The campaign to moralize meat has largely been a failure.

2011 224

On "EATING ANIMALS" by Jonathan Safran Foer

Animal Person

There's not enough evidence for an accusation of moral relativism, but for me the message is a mixed one. And what follows, as you might imagine, is his support of "ethical meat" (for those who insist on eating animals). Tags: Activism Books Ethics Language

2009 230

Americans Still Support Wearing Fur and Animal Testing

Critter News

Disappointing results from Gallup's annual "moral acceptability" measure. Tags: ethics animal rights us The article also shows results on non-animal issues as well. Not surprisingly, Republicans tend to take more conservative stances than Democrats.

Fur 100

On "Wild Justice"

Animal Person

" Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals ," By Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce, is the most recent (for me) book that debunks myths about the differences between human and nonhuman animals. Also, Bekoff and Pierce present a descriptive view, not a normative view of morality.

Morals 130

For Your Health, the Planet & the Animals: VBM

Animal Person

I mean, where do they get their morals from? Tags: Activism Current Affairs Ethics Language I recently watched Earthlings and cried the whole way through. There has to be something I can do to reduce all of the suffering of the animals we use as food, I thought. And then I read THE CHINA STUDY and was shocked to learn how unhealthy the Standard American Diet is--even cow's milk, which I thought I should be having three servings of per day!

Vegan 148

On The Goode Family and Infiltration

Animal Person

The Morality Of Food ( Tags: Activism Current Affairs Ethics animal rights Animal welfare Nutrition The Goode Family Veganism Vegetarianism Image via Wikipedia I found The Goode Family disappointing on the vegan side.

Family 130

Roger Cohen Realizes Dogs=Pigs, Sort Of

Animal Person

If you eat meat you cannot logically find it morally or ethically repugnant to eat a particular meat (I’m setting cannibalism aside here.). I repeat: If you eat meat (I'd say: products that come from animals) , you cannot logically find it morally or ethically repugnant to eat a particular meat (i.e., Tags: Current Affairs Ethics Food and Drink Gray Matters " Dog Days in China " is a small piece with no gruesome slideshow.

Pigs 100

On Cannibalism

Animal Person

If you eat meat you cannot logically find it morally or ethically repugnant to eat a particular meat (I’m setting cannibalism aside here.). Tags: Current Affairs Ethics Language When we left off , the New York Times' Roger Cohen had eaten dog while in China, and wasn't thrilled about it emotionally. Logically, he admits it does make perfect sense to eat dogs if you eat pigs and cows.

2010 103

Meat with No Feet!?

Creature Talk

A while back PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) offered $1 million to any company or person who could come up with a cost effective way to produce cloned meat on a large scale, the goal being that people could still satisfy their meat cravings, but that animals wouldn’t have to be slaughtered for that purpose. If I knew that the meat was humane and safe, I wouldn’t have a problem with it ethically at all.

Meat 40

On ANIMAL EQUALITY, by Joan Dunayer

Animal Person

I'd rather extend moral consideration to something that can't suffer than fail to extend it to someone who can" (154). Tags: Activism Books Ethics Language A handful Animal Person readers since May of 2006, when I started this then-daily blog, have asked me if I've read Joan Dunayer.

2010 136

As long as it's legal, who am I to judge?

Animal Person

It might reflect the values of the majority in some ways (and in other ways not), but its function is not as a moral statement, said that professor. We have a legal right to use them, but that doesn't mean doing so is justifiable moral ly. Ethics and the law don't necessarily move together. Tags: Activism Ethics Language

Laws 108

On "The Wild"

Animal Person

Finally, people who object to our moral stance jump species and say we should object to the lion killing the gazelle. I don't know if these people are serious or not, but though we are not unique in the animal world in demonstrating morality, we vegans and animal rights advocates do not concern ourselves with the moral codes of other species. Tags: Ethics Language

NYT Opens the Door to the Humane Myth

Animal Person

The most recent execution, of Kenneth Biros, involved 30 minutes to find a vein for the single-drug and "the execution only reinforced that any form of capital punishment is legally suspect and morally wrong.". We went from an abolitionist angle--that executing people is morally wrong--to the death penalty needs to be repealed to eliminate problems during the execution. Where's the moral objection on behalf of cows? Tags: Current Affairs Ethics Language

Animal Rights is Pernicious Nonsense?

Animal Person

It has absolutely nothing to do with any genuine environmentalist ethic. And not all organizations that advocate for animals claim to have a "genuine environmentalist ethic," and the ones that do must subscribe to his ethic or they're not genuine? Like I said, the entire animal rights "ethic" is both cynical and dishonest. As for the ethic being cynical, I don't understand that so I cannot comment. Tags: Activism Current Affairs Ethics Language

On Humane Societies and Calf-Roping

Animal Person

Societies evolve morally. Tags: Activism Current Affairs Ethics Angus directed me to a story about the Calgary Stampede (rodeo) and the Calgary and Vancouver Humane Societies which had me asking: Whose side are they on?

Humane 130

SPECIESISM, by Joan Dunayer, Part Deux

Animal Person

It moves society closer to the view that all forms of speciesist exploitation--from dog breeding to commercial fishing--are morally wrong (151). Tags: Books Ethics Language animal rights Joan Dunayer speciesism I realize that in writing about "old speciesism" I failed to define this term that Dunayer uses. I think of "old speciesism" as analogous to racism and sexism in that it is exploitation based on species.

On Keeping "Vegan" Pure

Animal Person

I'm not talking about morality here, I'm talking about language. And the real question is, is there thought--or is there morality-without language? Tags: Activism Current Affairs Ethics Language Kelly wondered whether the term "vegan" is " worth fighting for " given the latest trend of seemingly oxymoronish (waiting for that one to hit Webster's) terminology from the mouths of people who want to find a way to use animals, yet make it appear that they're not.

Vegan 100

On the Vegan "Diet"

Animal Person

But they also haven't made a moral choice to not use animals. Tags: Activism Current Affairs Ethics Language My dogs eat vegan dog food. They don't have collars made from animals. To say they are vegans is odd to me, though I have done that as the distinction is lost on most people and for the sake of a swift message it does the job. When I first saw PCRM's " Kickstart Your Health With a Vegan Diet " campaign, I let out a bit of a sigh. At least they didn't say "vegan cleanse."

Vegan 100

On Food/Lifestyle Disputes At Home

Animal Person

While no study has documented how frequent these clashes have become, therapists agree that the green issue can quickly become poisonous because it is so morally charged. Tags: Current Affairs Ethics Gray Matters In " Therapists Report Increase in Green Disputes " in the Environment section of today's New York Times, Leslie Kaufman reports that American households have become a battleground for beliefs about the environment.

On "Compassion," "Nonviolence" and "Justice"

Animal Person

I especially like "justice" because it forces you to ask: "Is it morally right to enslave sentient nonhumans, rape them, take their babies and their lives on your own time and profit from them?" Tags: Activism Ethics Language Why all the quotation marks? Because I've been thinking about the evolution of my own thinking--and languaging--regarding animal rights. Both animal rights groups and animal welfare groups use "compassion" frequently.

On Dolphins as a Gateway to Animal Rights

Animal Person

Dolphins are so smart that scientists think they should be treated as "non-human persons" and as such it is "morally unacceptable" to use or kill them. The entire discussion, I fear, will be about comparing dolphins to humans and the more human-like they are, the more intelligent they are, and the more worthy of moral consideration they are. Tags: Activism Current Affairs Ethics Gray Matters Language My life-as-a-tweeter is less and less significant these days.

An Animal Rights-Protection-Abolitionist Organization

Animal Person

It is a conflict of interest for animal protection organizations to advocate for the drivers' jobs at the expense of the horses and they lose their moral authority by confusing those priorities. Tags: Activism Current Affairs Ethics Greyhound Matters Language I've always thought of horse-drawn carriages the way I think about greyhound racing or fur: Most people are against them, so why are they still around?

Deconstructing Slate's "Pepper" Series

Animal Person

There's a vague sense that perhaps he cares about the dogs or thinks that what he does to them might present an ethical dilemma, but the overwhelming feeling is that it's all worth it. He writes as if what he used to do--and what he defends--is morally justifiable on its face, and it's just the details that might be questionable. Tags: Activism Current Affairs Ethics Language

Where Does Entertainment Begin and End?

Animal Person

But the ease with which we can tell our stories and post our videos must not render us incapable of moral judgment and decency. Tags: Activism Current Affairs Ethics Language animal rights animal snuff films free speech Supreme Court Vamsee Juluri veganism

On a New Level of Absurdity in the Slaughter Business

Animal Person

They have no moral justification for taking the lives of the nonhumans other than that certain humans like the taste of their flesh but don't want to do the killing themselves. Tags: Activism Current Affairs Ethics Language animal rights Bev Eggleston EcoFriendly Foods Gourmet magazine happy meat Humane slaughter Temple Grandin Bea sent me a link to an article in Gourmet called " Humane Slaughterhouses ," by Rebecca Marx, that is absurd.

Majority Rules in the Language of Animal Rights

Animal Person

Wrong and right are less useful and more fluid in language, but they're not in morality. Tags: Current Affairs Ethics Language I recently read " ORIGINS OF THE SPECIOUS: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language ," By Patricia T. O'Conner and Stewart Kellerman. I was already partial to O'Conner from WOE IS I , which I highly recommend, though it also has a hokey, punny style that some might find annoying.

W. D. Ross (1877-1971) on the Right and the Good

Animal Ethics

Now when we ask what is the general nature of morally good actions, it seems quite clear that it is in virtue of the motives that they proceed from that actions are morally good. The drawing of a rigid distinction between the right and the morally good frees us from such confusion. (W.

2011 65

On What the Animal Ag Alliance Thinks of Us

Animal Person

Perhaps it is the industry's inability to evolve morally that is behind the times. Tags: Activism Current Affairs Ethics Language ALF Animal Agriculture Alliance Animal Rights Animal welfare ELF HSUS PeTA SHAC Vegan education veganism

Your Friday Moth to a Flame

Critter News

We want to take a building that has been a flashpoint for conflict on one moral issue and turn it into a place of dialogue on another one," said Bruce Friedrich, vice president for policy at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA wants to buy the clinic owned by slain Dr. Tiller. "We

Always Question a Scientist

Critter News

and an accountant and an economist and any other "expert" that uses their field to claim a moral authority. Just because you can tell me that a cell mutates does not mean that you have the moral authority to tell me what kind of society I should live in. It doesn't mean that you have the moral authority to tell me that I must support animal testing because you know better. Tags: animal experimentation medical ethics medical research science

Agenda 100

Bernard E. Rollin on Animals as Ends

Animal Ethics

Given the logic of morality, we should extend our moral attention to those states that matter to it when our actions affect that being. not all or even most of our moral attention focuses on reason vis a vis people.

2012 52

Leonard Nelson (1882-1927) on Duties to Animals

Animal Ethics

Moral philosophers, even those belonging to the Critical School [the followers of Kant and Fries], have often represented duties to animals as indirect duties to oneself or to other men. The treatment this problem has received in ethics would be devastating testimony to the limitations of human understanding, if it were not clear that interest rather than error accounts for it. Leonard Nelson , System of Ethics , trans.

2016 43

Henry S. Salt (1851-1939) on the Golden Rule

Animal Ethics

Salt , "The Rights of Animals," International Journal of Ethics 10 [January 1900]: 206-22, at 222 [italics in original; footnote omitted How, then, shall we sum up in a sentence the principle of our duties to the lower animals?

2013 71