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ANIMAL RIGHTS

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PAIN AND PETS ... we would have to give up both our pets and our children. ... extreme and unacceptable, since some amount of suffering for pets and children ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: ANIMAL RIGHTS


1
ANIMAL RIGHTS
Chaim Soutine, Carcass of Beef, 1926
2
A Moral Defense of Vegetarianism
Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Basket of Apples,
1890-1894
Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Apples, 1890-1894
James Rachels (1941-)
3
THE MORALITY OF EATING MEAT
  • For James Rachels it is morally wrong for us to
    eat meat.
  • Rachels will argue that it is morally wrong to
    eat meat because the animals which we eat are
    made to suffer in the meat production industry.
  • And, for Rachels, making an animal which is
    capable of feeling pain suffer needlessly is
    morally wrong.

4
CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
  • Some people think that we only ought not to be
    cruel to animals because of the effect of that
    cruelty on human beings, not because of the
    cruelty itself.
  • Or, the suffering of animals is not itself wrong,
    but it becomes wrong in virtue of its effects on
    human beings.
  • This is the Kantian position. And it regards
    the treatment of animals in relation to the
    effect of that treatment on human beings.

5
KANT AND ANIMALS I
  • For Kant and the Kantian tradition, animals have
    no moral standing in themselves.
  • Kant thinks that we have no duties to animals
    other than human beings.
  • His categorical imperative only applies to
    humans, not to other kinds of animal.

6
KANT AND ANIMALS II
  • Kant Act so that you treat humanity, whether in
    your own person or in that of another, always as
    an end and never as a means only. But so far as
    other nonhuman animals are concerned, we have
    no direct duties. Animals are not
    self-conscious, and are there merely as means to
    an end. That end is man.
  • For Kant, self-consciousness is a property the
    possession of which guarantees moral protection.
    And if you are not a self-conscious being, then
    you are not deserving of respect or moral
    consideration.

7
KANT AND ANIMALS III
  • Nevertheless, Kant held that we should not be
    cruel to animals. However, not because of the
    effects which that cruelty has on the animal
    which is made to suffer, but because of its
    effects on us. He who is cruel to animals
    becomes hard in his dealings with men.
  • Thus if we could be cruel to animals without
    becoming cruel to one another, then such cruelty
    would be acceptable, and there would be no reason
    why animals could not be made to suffer by men.

8
RACHELS ON THE KANTIAN POSITION I
  • For Rachels, this Kantian position is
    unacceptable.
  • According to Rachels, we ought not to be cruel to
    animals not only because of its adverse effects
    on us, but because of the direct effects on the
    animals themselves.
  • Namely, that animals themselves suffer as the
    result of cruel actions.

9
THE IMMORALITY OF SUFFERING
  • For Rachels, the primary reason why cruelty to
    animals is wrong is that, in being cruel to them,
    they are made to suffer.
  • And it can never be right willingly to make any
    being capable of suffering suffer.
  • The main reason that torturing humans is wrong is
    that people suffer when tortured. And the main
    reason why torturing any animal is wrong is that
    the tortured animal suffers.
  • For Rachels, if suffering is wrong for the human
    animal then it is wrong for any other animal.

10
JUSTIFIED AND UNJUSTIFIED PAIN
  • However, Rachels recognizes that, although
    torture and cruelty to animals is wrong, it does
    not follow that we are never justified in
    inflicting pain on an animal. However, there
    must be a good reason for causing the suffering,
    and if the suffering is great, the justifying
    reason must be correspondingly powerful.
  • An example would be the use of animals in certain
    medical experiments designed to eliminated
    disease, where suffering is an ineliminable
    by-product of the experiment. But it is not
    justified to make animals suffer to produce
    perfume, for instance, or to get fur coats.
  • Rather, causing suffering is not justified
    unless there is a good reason.
  • Read the treatment of Civet cats p. 859.

11
RACHELS ON THE KANTIAN POSITION II
  • Rachels says that, just as it is not morally
    justifiable to make cats suffer to produce musk,
    so it is not morally acceptable to raise and
    slaughter animals for food.
  • Meat production is big business, and helpless
    animals are treated more as machines in a factory
    than as living creatures.
  • READ treatment of veal calves, etc. p. 860-861.
  • Rachels says that the cruelty to animals by meat
    producers is due to the Kantian view that
    animals are merely means to an end that end is
    man.

12
RACHELS ON THE KANTIAN POSITION III
  • Meat producers want the least costly and most
    effective means of producing meat for human
    consumption. If that means that animals are made
    to suffer by that process, then, because they are
    not deserving of moral respect, we need not worry
    unduly about it.
  • But for Rachels, clearly this use of animals is
    immoral if anything is.
  • And Rachels says that liking the taste of meat is
    not moral justification for mistreating the
    animals we end up eating.
  • It might be morally justified to eat meat if that
    is all we had to eat, or if meat were the only
    thing which would properly nourish us, but
    neither of these things is the case.

13
MEAT PRODUCTION AND MORALITY
  • As Rachels realizes, saying that the mistreatment
    of animals in the meat production process is
    immoral is one thing, saying that eating meat
    itself is immoral is another.
  • The idea is that, if we can raise animals for
    slaughter that do not suffer, and which are
    quickly and painlessly killed, then that would
    make eating meat morally acceptable. (Cf. Frey.)
  • Rachels problem with this is that it would be
    impossible to treat the animals being raised for
    meat decently and still produce meat in
    sufficient quantities to make it a normal part of
    our diets.
  • It would cost too much money, and the average
    person could not afford meat.

14
IS EATING MEAT INTRINSICALLY WRONG?
  • Still, Rachels recognizes that it is an
    interesting theoretical question whether or not
    eating meat is wrong in itself.
  • The question is, If meat could be produced
    humanely, without mistreating the animals prior
    to killing them painlessly, would there be
    anything wrong with it?
  • One possible response here would be to say that
    it would still be wrong because the animals
    killed for our tables have a right to life.

15
THE MORALITY OF PAINLESS KILLING
  • Rachels wonders, if it is wrong to kill a person
    painlessly why it is not also wrong to kill an
    animal painlessly?
  • He recognizes that animals are not as complex as
    human beings, but they live in communities,
    communicate with one another, and have ongoing
    social relationships.
  • In addition, they suffer, and are capable of
    happiness, as well as fear and distress, as we
    are.

16
THE RIGHT TO LIFE AND PAINLESS KILLING
  • Rachels notes that We assume that humans have a
    right to life - It would be wrong to murder a
    normal, healthy human even if it were done
    painlessly - and it is hard to think of any
    plausible rationale for granting this right to
    humans that does not also apply to other
    animals.
  • Accordingly, Rachels wonders So what could be
    the rational basis for saying that we have a
    right to life, but that they dont? Or, even
    more pointedly, what could be the rational basis
    for saying that a severely retarded person, who
    is inferior in every important respect to an
    intelligent animal, has a right to life but the
    animal doesnt?
  • For Rachels, considerations such as these, which
    are admittedly difficult, should make us
    skeptical of easy answers to these questions.

17
THE HUMAN AND THE NONHUMAN WORLD
  • A second reason for not killing animals for food
    even if it can be done humanely is that it is
    important to see the slaughter of animals for
    food as part of a larger pattern that
    characterizes our whole relationship with the
    nonhuman world.
  • Animals are taken from their natural environments
    and put in zoos, circuses, and rodeos. They are
    used in laboratories to test things like shampoos
    and chemical weapons, and sometimes they are
    simply killed for sport or for wall decorations.

18
RACHELS ON THE KANTIAN POSITION IV
  • Rachels This pattern of cruel exploitation
    flows naturally from the Kantian attitude that
    animals are nothing more than things to be used
    for our purposes.
  • For Rachels, it is this whole attitude which
    must be opposed. And, if we reject the Kantian
    attitude, then it will not be acceptable to kill
    animals even painlessly for our food.
  • This is essentially a right to life attitude
    again, that animals have as much right to live
    their lives apart from interference from us, as
    we have a right to live our lives apart from
    interference from them.

19
SUPPORT OF AN IMMORAL PRACTICE I
  • The more immediate practical issue though is that
    the meat at the supermarket was not produced by
    humane methods.
  • Rather, the animals whose flesh the meat once was
    were abused in order for the meat producers to
    provide the meat.
  • For Rachels, one should not buy meat, since then
    one is supporting the cruelty to animals that is
    part of meat production.

20
SUPPORT OF AN IMMORAL PRACTICE II
  • Rachels says that, even if one persons stopping
    to eat meat wont by itself make much of a dent
    in meat production, still, if animals are abused
    in providing meat for humans, that in itself is a
    reason not to eat it.
  • Rachels If one really thinks that a social
    practice is immoral, that in itself is sufficient
    grounds for a refusal to participate.

21
Pain, Amelioration, and the Choice of Tactics
R. G. Frey
22
THE ARGUMENT FROM PAIN AND SUFFERING
  • The argument from pain and suffering for
    vegetarianism df.
  • a) Pain and suffering are bad.
  • b) It is wrong to make any being suffer or to
    feel pain which is capable of suffering or
    feeling pain.
  • c) Animals which we farm for food not only can
    suffer and feel pain, but farming practices are
    such as to make many animals suffer terribly
    before they are killed for human consumption.
  • d) To end this immoral cruelty we should cease to
    eat meat. And if we continue to eat meat then we
    are supporting the cruelty.

23
IMPROVING MEAT PRODUCTION I
  • Frey notes that the meat eaters response to the
    argument from pain and suffering will be to say
    that farming can be improved so that food animals
    are no longer made to suffer, and that they can
    be quickly and painlessly killed.
  • Frey says that nothing in Peter Singers book
    Animal Liberation rules out making such
    improvements. One cannot say then that the only
    way to abolish immoral cruelty to animals in food
    production is to become a vegetarian.
  • Recall that Rachels says that it would be
    impossible to treat the animals being raised for
    meat decently and still produce meat in
    sufficient quantities to make it a normal part of
    our diets. It would cost too much money, and
    the average person could not afford meat.

24
FREYS RESPONSE TO THE ARGUMENT FROM PAIN AND
SUFFERING I
  • Freys responses to the argument from pain and
    suffering
  • 1) Even if the argument from pain and suffering
    were successful, it would demand only that we
    abstain from the flesh of those creatures leading
    miserable lives.
  • 2) The amelioration argument becomes
    applicable.

25
THE AMELIORATION ARGUMENT
  • The amelioration argument df. If animals can be
    made not to suffer, then they can be killed
    (quickly and painlessly) and eaten.
  • Frey The more animals that can be brought to
    lead pleasant lives, the more animals that escape
    the argument from pain and suffering and so may
    be eaten.
  • All the concerned individual need do then, for
    Frey, is to look for improvements in factory
    farming so that animals no longer suffer.

26
IMPROVING MEAT PRODUCTION II
  • If factory farming can be improved, then the
    argument from pain and suffering no longer has
    any force, and it cant be maintained that
    factory farming of animals for meat should be
    abolished.
  • Some will maintain that the pain and suffering of
    animals can never be eliminated, and so factory
    farming will remain immoral.
  • But Frey says that we cant be sure of this, and
    precisely how high a quality of life must be
    reached before animals may be said to be leading
    pleasant lives is a contentious and complex
    issue.

27
FREYS RESPONSE TO THE ARGUMENT FROM PAIN AND
SUFFERING II
  • Frey recognizes two options here in response to
    the argument from pain and suffering
  • 1) Singers and Rachels advocacy of
    vegetarianism.
  • 2) What he calls the response of the concerned
    individual which is to seek improvements in and
    alternatives to those practices held to be the
    source of the pain and suffering in question.

28
DEGREES OF SUFFERING
  • Frey accuses Singer of talking about the
    suffering of animals in two different respects
  • 1) factory farming is wrong when animals are made
    to live miserable lives and
  • 2) factory farming is wrong when animals are made
    to suffer at all.
  • The second kind of suffering is a stronger claim
    against the morality of eating meat, since if
    animals suffer at all, then raising them for food
    is wrong. Frey calls this the single experience
    view.
  • The first kind of suffering makes it immoral only
    if it rises to the level of being miserable.
  • The first claim would make it the case that we
    could only morally eat an animal which was never
    made to suffer at all.

29
THE AMBIGUITY OF SINGERS POSITION
  • Frey thinks that Singers position is ambiguous.
  • This is because Singer has not made it clear
    whether he is arguing for the stronger or weaker
    claim about suffering.
  • And it is unclear whether he applies the criteria
    consistently in his writings and applies
    different criteria to different animals.

30
PAIN, SUFFERING, AND A GOOD LIFE
  • Frey also notes that experiencing some pain and
    suffering is consistent with leading a pleasant
    life.
  • In fact, pain can recur on a daily basis,
    provided it falls short of that quantity over
    that duration required to tip the balance in the
    direction of a miserable life.
  • For Frey, unless Singer takes the second view of
    suffering, that any pain whatsoever is bad, he
    cannot convince you not to buy meat.
  • This is because he can be reasonably certain
    that the meat on display in supermarkets has come
    from animals who have had at least one painful
    experience, in being reared for food.

31
SINGERS TWO VIEWS I
  • According to Frey, without this shift from
    miserable suffering to any suffering, Singer has
    difficulty in discouraging you from buying meat.
  • If the animals whose meat it is did not suffer
    terribly, did not lead miserable lives, then
    there is no reason not to buy the meat and eat
    it.
  • Thus Singer has two views of suffering the
    miserable suffering view, and the any suffering
    or the single experience view.
  • Frey accuses him of sometimes using one view and
    sometimes another.

32
CONSEQUENCES OF SINGERS VIEWS
  • In addition, the views have different
    consequences for any attempt to improve factory
    farming of animals for meat.
  • If it is only wrong to eat meat if the animals
    suffer miserably, then if farming can be improved
    so that animals do not suffer terribly, then it
    is not immoral to eat them.
  • On the other hand, if any suffering at all is
    unacceptable - the single experience view - then
    chances are farming cannot be improved to the
    point where it can be guaranteed that no animal
    ever suffers.
  • If any amount of pain or suffering is
    unacceptable, then we either have to become
    vegetarians or genetically engineer farm animals
    so that they become incapable of feeling pain or
    suffering.

33
PAIN AND PETS
  • A problem which Frey has with the single
    experience view is that it would seem to follow
    from it that we ought not to have pets. This is
    because it is extremely unlikely that any method
    of rearing and keeping pets could be entirely
    without pain and suffering.
  • For Frey, if we must give up meat because animals
    suffer to produce meat, then it would seem that
    we would have to give up pets.

34
PAIN AND CHILDREN
  • Further, Frey says that if the only acceptable
    method of rearing animals, whether for food or
    companionship, is one free of all pain and
    suffering, then it is hard to see why the same
    should not be said of our own children.
  • That is because it is extremely unlikely that
    any method of rearing children could be entirely
    without pain or suffering.

35
SINGERS TWO VIEWS II
  • On the single experience view, it seems to Frey
    that we would have to give up both our pets and
    our children.
  • If we find this to be extreme and unacceptable,
    since some amount of suffering for pets and
    children is acceptable, then we cannot use the
    any pain or single experience view to argue for
    vegetarianism.
  • But then we would seem to be left with the
    miserable life view. And, on that view, as long
    as animals do not lead miserable lives in being
    reared for meat, then so rearing them is morally
    acceptable.

36
THE CONCERNED INDIVIDUAL I
  • Freys concerned individual is one who is
    concerned to eliminate as much pain and misery as
    possible for animals being reared for meat.
  • The concerned individual can find eating meat
    acceptable as long as animals are not made to
    lead miserable lives.
  • For Frey, what Singer and Rachels have proved is
    not that it is wrong to eat meat but that it is
    wrong to rear and kill animals by (very) painful
    methods.

37
THE CONCERNED INDIVIDUAL II
  • Thus vegetarianism does not necessarily follow
    from the arguments of thinkers such as Singer and
    Rachels, but only that we have a moral obligation
    to reduce pain and suffering to the greatest
    extent possible in raising animals.
  • This moral obligation to reduce pain and
    suffering Frey calls the concerned individuals
    response to people like Singer and Rachels who
    argue for vegetarianism on the miserable life
    view.

38
THE RIGHT TO LIFE ARGUMENT
  • A vegetarian might respond to the concerned
    individual by saying that to deprive animals of
    the sort of life proper to their species is a
    form of pain or suffering in some broad sense,
    and therefore wrong.
  • The idea here is that the animal is deprived of
    the sort of life proper to their species.
  • Thus vegetarianism could be argued for on what we
    might call a right to life argument. (Cf.
    Rachels.)

39
FREYS RESPONSE TO THE RIGHT TO LIFE ARGUMENT I
  • However, Freys problem with the sort of life
    proper to their species argument is that
    virtually none of our food animals are found in
    the wild. Beef, ham, pork, chicken, lamb,
    mutton, and veal all come form animals who are
    completely our own productions, bred by us in
    ways we select to ends we desire.
  • The gene pools of these animals are manipulated
    by us, and research in this area continues, and
    so, for Frey, it is a mistake to use expressions
    like the sort of life proper to the species as
    if this sort of life were itself immune to
    technological advance.

40
FREYS RESPONSE TO THE RIGHT TO LIFE ARGUMENT II
  • Further, Frey points out that these animals are
    bred by us to a sort of life to which their bred
    species is proper.
  • Given that the kind of life which is proper to
    their species is the kind of life which they have
    been bred to have, how could pigs, chickens, and
    cows simply be released into the world?
  • If survival for them would be tough or even
    impossible, then would we be sentencing them to a
    worse life than the one they have as bred for
    meat?

41
FREYS RESPONSE TO THE RIGHT TO LIFE ARGUMENT III
  • Frey What sort of life is proper to chickens?
    One cannot appeal to chickens in the wild or
    non-developed chickens for an answer, since
    there are none chickens are developments or
    productions of our own.
  • We cant then talk about a life proper to a
    chicken other than the one which it has been bred
    to have.

42
FREYS CONCLUSIONS
  • Frey says that Singers view does not depend on
    seeing animal life as valuable in itself, but
    depends exclusively on minimizing pain and
    suffering.
  • Frey Pain alone is the basis of his case.
  • And Frey has already taken himself to have proven
    that the single experience view is untenable
    because it would rule out our having pets and
    children.
  • And he thinks that he has shown that the
    miserable life view does not demand vegetarianism
    if pain and suffering are kept to a minimum.
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