By Marc D. Hauser, Fiery Cushman
What is the distinction among possessing a portray and a puppy? criminal and social matters curious about puppy possession are taken care of to a scholarly discourse debating philosophical principles all in favour of puppy possession in humans, estate Or Pets? Essays come from legal professionals, scientists, psychologists and scholars alike, studying felony guardianship, estate prestige, and animal rights.
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This page intentionally left blank Animal Ethics and Legal Status Bernard E. Rollin THOUGH THE ESSAYS IN THIS VOLUME speak to many salient arguments across the field of animal rights the issue remains unavoidably too broad for a complete view. I will therefore begin by exploring other, related issues in the field to which I have dedicated my work. The first systematic modern analysis of the moral status of animals is Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation, published in 1976. This book has had an incalculable influence on how an entire generation looks at animals by forcing an awareness that animals have interests of their own and thus their treatment cannot simply be taken for granted, but is in fact morally problematic in every social use of animals, from agriculture to zoos, and including animal research, the testing of drugs and consumables on animals, hunting, fishing, trapping, animals used in entertainment, wildlife management, animals used in education, and even the human ownership, training, and breeding of companion animals.
Therefore, since such a handicap is a morally arbitrary condition, it feels as though those afflicted should have just as many rights as we do. Regardless of how disturbing the prospect of human experimentation is, we must make moral consistency the priority. Morality cannot, and should not, simply be tailored to our intuitions. We are the only beings in a position to make difficult judgments about who possesses moral agency because we have rationality, selfawareness, and the potential for reflection.
The only attributes that these beings do pos- Why the Status of Animals Should Remain as Property 21 sess are sentience and interests, and yet we assume that infants and severely mentally handicapped people possess moral rights. Activists point out that many animals such as normal, adult mammals have highly developed mental systems, and have at least as much sentience and cognitive and rational capacity as infants and severely mentally disabled people. They harp on the apparent inconsistency of this policy and claim that if we allow marginal cases to have moral rights, we must also admit that some cognitively high-functioning animals possess these rights (Dombrowski 1997).