Ethics and Animals: An Introduction (Cambridge Applied Ethics)

Ethics and Animals: An Introduction (Cambridge Applied Ethics)

Lori Gruen

Language: English

Pages: 246

ISBN: 0521717736

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In this fresh and comprehensive introduction to animal ethics, Lori Gruen weaves together poignant and provocative case studies with discussions of ethical theory, urging readers to engage critically and empathetically reflect on our treatment of other animals. In clear and accessible language, Gruen provides a survey of the issues central to human-animal relations and a reasoned new perspective on current key debates in the field. She analyses and explains a range of theoretical positions and poses challenging questions that directly encourage readers to hone their ethical reasoning skills and to develop a defensible position about their own practices. Her book will be an invaluable resource for students in a wide range of disciplines including ethics, environmental studies, veterinary science, women's studies, and the emerging field of animal studies and is an engaging account of the subject for general readers with no prior background in philosophy.

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would be no conflicts, and everyone would have their interests satisfied. We don't live in an ideal world. Insofar as we have to make choices about how to act ethically when interests conflict, having theoretical frameworks to guide our thinking and our actions will be most useful. Fortunately, philosophers have developed a variety of such frameworks to help us navigate difficult ethical terrain. These frameworks, usually referred to as normative ethical theories, tend to conflict with one

fulfill our interests. Leading a genuinely good life involves the actual satisfaction of interests we both want satisfied and that turn out to promote our flourishing. The process of satisfying our own interests is valuable in itself. If this is right, then we must be free to make the right choices about what is good for us, by our own lights, and actually pursue those choices free from interference and, with luck, satisfy them. We must be the ones who control the process that leads to our

techniques to her infant. As National Geographic reported, “Since the 1960s scientists have known that chimpanzees are able to make and use tools – behavior once thought to be an exclusively human trait. Now…researcher Jill Pruetz has observed tool making behavior that further blurs the line between the apes and humans.”20 The debate about tool use has a certain dialectic structure: the proponent of human exceptionalism posits what is thought to be a behavior indicative of a cognitive skill or

Chimpsky, born at the Institute of Primate Studies in Norman, Oklahoma, a laboratory where dozens of chimpanzees were taught to use sign language. Nim was sent to New York City where he was initially cross-fostered in an Upper West Side brownstone and trained in ASL at Columbia University under the skeptical eye of Herbert Terrace.23 After learning approximately 150 signs, Nim was sent back to Oklahoma while Terrace and his students studied videotapes and data collected from their work with the

extinction is a kind of superkilling. It kills forms (species), beyond individuals. It kills ‘essences’ beyond ‘existences,’ the ‘soul’ as well as the ‘body.’ It kills collectively, not just distributively. A duty to a species is more like being responsible to a cause than to a human.”13 The value of species, on this account, is more than the sum of the welfare of individual members of the species. The species as a whole is valuable in itself. The holist view allows that the death of individual

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