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Living Like A Dog: Can The Life Of Non-Human Animals Be Meaningful?, Michael Hauskeller Aug 2019

Living Like A Dog: Can The Life Of Non-Human Animals Be Meaningful?, Michael Hauskeller

Between the Species

Most philosophers addressing the issue of meaning in life seem to think that non-human animals cannot have a meaningful life because only humans have what it takes to do so. In this paper, I discuss three prominent philosophical theories of meaning in life, all of which implicitly or explicitly deny non-human animals the possibility of living a meaningful life. I will argue that none of them is convincing and that we should embrace a more comprehensive and inclusive understanding of meaning in life that allows for non-human lives to be meaningful and in their own right worth living.


Review Of The Oxford Handbook Of Food Ethics, Josh Milburn Jul 2019

Review Of The Oxford Handbook Of Food Ethics, Josh Milburn

Between the Species

The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics, edited by Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson, and Tyler Doggett, contains 35 chapters over 8 sections. Many of these chapters are directly relevant to animal ethicists. Even many of those that do not initially appear to be, however, should be of interest. I thoroughly recommend The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics to all animal ethicists interested in addressing food-related questions in their research or teaching.


Review Of Eat This Book: A Carnivore's Manifesto, Angus Taylor May 2019

Review Of Eat This Book: A Carnivore's Manifesto, Angus Taylor

Between the Species

Dominique Lestel sets out to demolish the fundamental claims of ethical vegetarianism (including veganism) and to propose as an alternative what he calls ethical carnivorism. Although he fails to present a logically sound case against ethical vegetarianism, that fact is unlikely to diminish the lure of the “circle of life” ideology that he articulates.


Review Of Fellow Creatures: Our Obligations To The Other Animals, A. G. Holdier May 2019

Review Of Fellow Creatures: Our Obligations To The Other Animals, A. G. Holdier

Between the Species

No abstract provided.


Fishy Reasoning And The Ethics Of Eating, Mylan Engel Jr. Apr 2019

Fishy Reasoning And The Ethics Of Eating, Mylan Engel Jr.

Between the Species

Ethical vegetarians believe that it is morally wrong to eat meat. Yet, many self-ascribed “ethical vegetarians” continue to eat fish. The question I explore here is this: Can one coherently maintain that it is morally wrong to eat meat, but morally permissible to eat fish? I argue that it is morally inconsistent for ethical vegetarians to eat fish, not on the obvious yet superficial ground that fish flesh is meat, but on the morally substantive ground that fish are sentient intelligent beings capable of experiencing morally significant pain and thus deserve moral consideration equal to that owed birds and mammals.


On The Ethical Significance Of Ecological Restoration: Domination Or Collaboration?, Roger J.H. King Feb 2019

On The Ethical Significance Of Ecological Restoration: Domination Or Collaboration?, Roger J.H. King

Between the Species

Ecological restoration is essential both to a sustainable human culture and to the well being of the more-than-human world. Yet some philosophers criticize enthusiasm for restoration as yet another manifestation of human domination and anthropocentric arrogance. The paper critiques this view as persistently presented by Eric Katz, and offers an alternative view of restoration’s ethical significance. Rather than seeing restoration as a unilateral human imposition on nature, restoration deserves defense as an expression of an interspecies etiquette, attentive to collaboration with the more-than-human world. But the full ethical significance of ecological restoration will not be realized without deep change ...


Bentham And The “Famous Footnote”, Randall Otto Jan 2019

Bentham And The “Famous Footnote”, Randall Otto

Between the Species

It is the contention of this paper that animal liberationists have misconstrued and misused Bentham’s “famous footnote” as an advocacy of species equivalency of interests, as though he were an incipient opponent of what has come to be known as “speciesism.” The context of Bentham’s footnote was of mistreatment of others that are capable of feeling pain. He was advocating in the footnote for laws that would end what he viewed as instances of cruelty toward animals. He was not advocating for vegetarianism or an end to killing animals where they can be of benefit to human beings ...


Scavengers Of The In-Between: Feminist Ruminations On Dogs, Love, And Pragmatism, Cathryn Bailey Oct 2018

Scavengers Of The In-Between: Feminist Ruminations On Dogs, Love, And Pragmatism, Cathryn Bailey

Between the Species

Abstract:

Western philosophy’s frequent conflation and denigration of animals, human others, embodiment and emotions has been powerfully documented over the past many decades. I explore the impact of this fear and loathing of the body, a somatophobia that infects much of the Western philosophical canon and its orientation toward people of color, white women, and animals. As I share reflections that are meant to enact and reveal an embodied pragmatism, I consider the potential of our love for dogs to ground a more embodied philosophical approach to love. Rooted in my own journey (as philosopher and dog lover), I ...


Reducing Extreme Suffering For Non-Human Animals: Enhancement Vs. Smaller Future Populations?, Magnus Vinding Aug 2018

Reducing Extreme Suffering For Non-Human Animals: Enhancement Vs. Smaller Future Populations?, Magnus Vinding

Between the Species

This paper argues that ethical views that place primary importance on the reduction of extreme suffering imply that, at least in theory, it can be better to allow enhanced non-human animals to come into existence rather than unenhanced non-human animals. Furthermore, they imply that it would be even better if no non-human animals came into existence at all. However, it is unclear, from the perspective of these ethical views, whether enhancement or reduction of future populations is the more effective strategy in practice, and whether it might even be better to instead pursue a seemingly more robust and less controversial ...


A Zoopolean Look At Animal Research Ethics, Andrew T. Fenton Jul 2018

A Zoopolean Look At Animal Research Ethics, Andrew T. Fenton

Between the Species

I will discuss how animal laboratory research can be ethically analyzed using Donaldson and Kymlicka’s political theory of animal rights. To accomplish this, I will not presuppose their strong animal rights framework. Donaldson and Kymlicka’s approach revolves around some basic human-animal relationships, reflecting the relational turn in applied ethics writ large. However, they do not discuss laboratory animal research in any detail, and so an extension to that domain of animal use is in order. Donaldson and Kymlicka’s emphasis on human-animal relationships is useful for reminding ourselves that in laboratories various staff or personnel can develop bonds ...


Are Illegal Direct Actions By Animal Rights Activists Ethically Vigilante?, Michael P. Allen, Erica Von Essen May 2018

Are Illegal Direct Actions By Animal Rights Activists Ethically Vigilante?, Michael P. Allen, Erica Von Essen

Between the Species

Constructed as terrorist, illegal direct actions by animal rights activists have become the subject of draconian law enforcement measures in the US and UK. Some scholars respond to this phenomenon by interpreting such actions to protect vulnerable animals not as terrorist but civilly disobedient. This approach highlights their ethical character, as a normatively relevant consideration in the state’s law enforcement response. Consistent with this approach, we argue that illegal direct actions by animal rights activists are not terrorist, although their motivations are sometimes anti-statist and anarchist. However, we also argue that civil disobedience is an awkward fit for many ...


Autonomy, Slavery, And Companion Animals, Heather M. N. Kendrick May 2018

Autonomy, Slavery, And Companion Animals, Heather M. N. Kendrick

Between the Species

I attempt to resolve the question of whether keeping animals as pets is akin to slavery by considering the significance of liberty to human beings and to nonhuman animals. I distinguish between two senses of liberty: preference liberty and autonomous liberty. Preference liberty is the freedom to satisfy the preferences that one in fact has. Autonomous liberty is the ability to satisfy the preferences that one might have regardless of whether one actually has those preferences. Preference liberty has a value for animals, but autonomous liberty is meaningless for them. As the core wrong of slavery is the restriction of ...


Review Of Engel's And Comstocks The Moral Rights Of Animals, Mark Bernstein Apr 2018

Review Of Engel's And Comstocks The Moral Rights Of Animals, Mark Bernstein

Between the Species

A brief review of Engel's and Comstock's The Moral Rights of Animals


Tom Regan: A Visionary Changing The World, Carolyn Bailey Apr 2018

Tom Regan: A Visionary Changing The World, Carolyn Bailey

Between the Species

No abstract provided.


Biophilia: Alienation And Solidarity, Ralph Acampora Mar 2018

Biophilia: Alienation And Solidarity, Ralph Acampora

Between the Species

Biophilia, theorized by Fromm, Wilson, and Kellert, is examined as a potential support for a pro-animal ethos. First, I look at the idea and its definitions at the hands of its chief theorizers. Then I investigate how different stages of human cultural development (foraging, pastoralism, industrial agriculture) have influenced different aspects of biophilia—especially as this bears on animal alienation. Finally, I consider possible remedies in the form of renewed patterns of solidarity with other species, one of which transforms Marx’ concept of species-being. The article has ethical implications, but it is essentially a work in philosophical anthropology.


Interspecies Political Agency In The Total Liberation Movement, Michael P. Allen, Erica Von Essen Feb 2018

Interspecies Political Agency In The Total Liberation Movement, Michael P. Allen, Erica Von Essen

Between the Species

In this paper, we examine the possibility of interspecies political agency at the level of social movements. We ask to what extent animals and humans can be co-participants in one another’s liberation from oppression. To do so, we assess arguments for and against including animals in the ‘total liberation package’, taken as the liberation from oppressive societal structures. These are not pragmatic-political arguments, but conceptual-philosophical arguments that have been put before animal liberationists attempting to ‘piggy-back’ on human liberation movements. In discrediting these philosophical arguments, we argue that animals have capacities for self-liberation that humans can facilitate and that ...


Heganism, Thomas E. Randall Feb 2018

Heganism, Thomas E. Randall

Between the Species

An emblematic association exists between meat consumption and the gender identity hegemonic masculinity. This association is so strong that men who pursue meatless diets (especially vegans) are likely to be socially ostracized. Heganism is a diet/gender identity that aims to reconstruct hegemonic masculinity with the goal of removing these stigmas attached to male veganism. Yet heganism fails to do this, and, in fact, worsens the marginalization of male vegans. Therefore, heganism ought to be rejected. Instead, an alternative option for reducing the marginalization of male vegans could be found in the emergent literature on non-hegemonic masculinities. By rejecting hegemonic ...


Francis Wolff’S Flawed Philosophical Defense Of Bullfighting, Gabriel Andrade Jan 2018

Francis Wolff’S Flawed Philosophical Defense Of Bullfighting, Gabriel Andrade

Between the Species

As a result of Catalonia’s ban of bullfighting in 2011, in Spain there has been a renowned interest in the ethical debate about bullfighting. Most defenders of bullfighting are Spaniards, but the most systematic is French philosopher Francis Wolff. In this article, I review Wolff’s most persistent arguments in favor of bullfighting, and I offer my own refutations. Wolff argues bullfighting is not torture, bulls do not suffer, bulls must die, and bullfighting tradition must be preserved. All of these claims are dubious, as they are based on shaky assumptions and fallacious reasoning.


Review Of Taming The Wild Horse: An Annotated Translation And Study Of The Daoist Horse Taming Pictures, Regina Swanson Jan 2018

Review Of Taming The Wild Horse: An Annotated Translation And Study Of The Daoist Horse Taming Pictures, Regina Swanson

Between the Species

Abstract: This review of Louis Komjathy’s translation and interpretation of a 13th century set of illustrated poems places the work squarely within the emerging field of animal studies. Though essentially a map for Daoist monastic training, Komjathy notes that the Horse Taming Pictures, as he names them, are also about horses at some level. He therefore engages these pictures not as relics of a medieval eremitic order, but as works of art and poetry incorporating horses as timeless symbols and living creatures. While not strictly a work of ethics, Taming the Wild Horse takes time to consider human ...


Dialogues On Ethical Vegetarianism, Michael Huemer Dec 2017

Dialogues On Ethical Vegetarianism, Michael Huemer

Between the Species

Two philosophy students, M and V, discuss the ethics of meat consumption. Standard arguments on both sides are reviewed, with emphasis on the argument that meat-consumption is wrong because it supports extreme cruelty. M and V also address such questions as how conflicting intuitions ought to be weighed, whether meat-eating is comparable to participating in a holocaust, why ethical arguments often fail to change our behavior even when they change our beliefs, and how an ethical vegetarian morally ought to interact with non-vegetarians.


Why Do We Care?: A Natural History Of Noddings’ Ethical Theory, Walter Jason Niedermeyer Oct 2017

Why Do We Care?: A Natural History Of Noddings’ Ethical Theory, Walter Jason Niedermeyer

Between the Species

Noddings’ theory of caring, which is nearing its 35th anniversary, has failed to garner the attention of the more classical theories of ethics. This slight may be due to its relative youth, or the historical support for other constructs, but if examined through the lens of evolutionary biology, the validity of Noddings might be tested. Using recent discoveries from the emerging fields of cognitive ethology and neuroscience, I have evaluated whether there exists evolutionary underpinnings for her theory. My analysis makes it apparent that the empathy and altruism required for the practice of caring are as much a product ...


Xenotransplantation, Subsistence Hunting And The Pursuit Of Health: Lessons For Animal Rights-Based Vegan Advocacy, Nathan M. Nobis Oct 2017

Xenotransplantation, Subsistence Hunting And The Pursuit Of Health: Lessons For Animal Rights-Based Vegan Advocacy, Nathan M. Nobis

Between the Species

I argue that, contrary to what Tom Regan suggests, his rights view implies that subsistence hunting is wrong, that is, killing animals for food is wrong even when they are the only available food source, since doing so violates animal rights. We can see that subsistence hunting is wrong on the rights view by seeing why animal experimentation, specifically xenotransplanation, is wrong on the rights view: if it’s wrong to kill an animal to take organs to save a human life, it’s wrong to kill an animal to eat that animal to save a human life or improve ...


Nozick’S Libertarian Critique Of Regan, Josh Milburn Oct 2017

Nozick’S Libertarian Critique Of Regan, Josh Milburn

Between the Species

Robert Nozick’s oft-quoted review of Tom Regan’s The Case for Animal Rights levels a range of challenges to Regan’s philosophy. Many commentators have focussed on Nozick’s putative defence of speciesism, but this has led to them overlooking other aspects of the critique. In this paper, I draw attention to two. First is Nozick’s criticism of Regan’s political theory, which is best understood relative to Nozick’s libertarianism. Nozick’s challenge invites the possibility of a libertarian account of animal rights – which is not as oxymoronic as it may first sound. Second is Nozick’s ...


Harming (Respectfully) Some To Benefit Others: Animal Rights And The Moral Imperative Of Trap-Neuter-Release Programs, Cheryl E. Abbate Sep 2017

Harming (Respectfully) Some To Benefit Others: Animal Rights And The Moral Imperative Of Trap-Neuter-Release Programs, Cheryl E. Abbate

Between the Species

Because spaying/neutering animals involves the harming of some animals in order to prevent harm to others, some ethicists, like David Boonin, argue that the philosophy of animal rights is committed to the view that spaying/neutering animals violates the respect principle and that Trap Neuter Release (TNR) programs are thus impermissible. In response, I demonstrate that the philosophy of animal rights holds that, under certain conditions, it is justified, and sometimes even obligatory, to cause harm to some animals (human or nonhuman) in order to prevent greater harm to others. As I will argue, causing lesser harm to some ...


Review Of Nathan Nobis's Animals & Ethics 101, Bob Fischer Aug 2017

Review Of Nathan Nobis's Animals & Ethics 101, Bob Fischer

Between the Species

No abstract provided.


Animal Rights And Incredulous Stares, Bob Fischer Jul 2017

Animal Rights And Incredulous Stares, Bob Fischer

Between the Species

I propose an analogy between the thesis that animals have rights and David Lewis's commitment to modal realism. I argue that just as Lewis received incredulous stares that seem to justify rejecting his metaphysical hypothesis, so the thesis that animals have rights can be reasonably rejected. I consider the prospect challenging the considered beliefs on which that rejection depends, and ultimately offer a pessimistic conclusion.


Reflections On Tom Regan And The Animal Rights Movement That Once Was, Gary L. Francione Jul 2017

Reflections On Tom Regan And The Animal Rights Movement That Once Was, Gary L. Francione

Between the Species

No abstract provided.


Chasing Secretariat's Consent: The Impossibility Of Permissible Animal Sports, James Rocha Jul 2017

Chasing Secretariat's Consent: The Impossibility Of Permissible Animal Sports, James Rocha

Between the Species

Tom Regan argued that animal sports cannot be morally permissible because they are cruel and the animals do not voluntarily participate. While Regan is correct about actual animal sports, we should ask whether substantially revised animal sports could be permissible. We can imagine significant changes to certain animal sports, such as horse racing, that would avoid cruelty and even allow the animals to make their own choices. Where alternative options are freely available, we can consider the horses to have preference autonomy in that they make their own decisions, and we could thereby claim that we have their hypothetical consent ...


Demystifying Animal Rights, Mylan Engel Jr. Jul 2017

Demystifying Animal Rights, Mylan Engel Jr.

Between the Species

According to the mysteriousness objection, moral rights are wholly mysterious, metaphysically suspect entities. Given their unexplained character and dubious metaphysical status, the objection goes, we should be ontologically parsimonious and deny that such entities exist. I defend Tom Regan's rights view from the mysteriousness objection. In particular, I argue that what makes moral rights seem metaphysically mysterious is the mistaken tendency to reify such rights. Once we understand what moral rights are and what they are not, we will see that rights talk is neither mysterious nor nonsensical. I then consider a second aspect of Regan’s rights view ...


"Subjects-Of-A-Life," Entelechy, And Intrinsic Teleology, Josephine Donovan Jun 2017

"Subjects-Of-A-Life," Entelechy, And Intrinsic Teleology, Josephine Donovan

Between the Species

Abstract

This article explores the question of what is a “subject-of-a-life,” Tom Regan’s celebrated term for a living entity to whom, he argued, we humans owe ethical duty. I return to ancient concepts of entelechy and teleological organization, arguing that, stripped of theological implications, they provide a usable basis for modern theorizing about organism and an ethical foundation for condemning such practices as transgenic engineering. Every creature, it is argued, has its own inherited formal identity, which it strives to sustain. This reality is ethically pertinent knowledge which humans are obliged to respect and honor.