Animal Ethics Essay

1672 words - 7 pages

Animal Ethics

     Animal ethics is concerned with the status of animals, whereas
environmental ethics concerns itself with the relationship to the environment.
I will show the existence of animal ethics depends on the existence of
environmental ethics. I will prove this by showing that such philosophers who
have practiced animal ethics such as Singer, Regan, and Taylor are limited
because they are individualistic. Which means they are limited to animal
concerns, and nothing else. But with the environmental ethics such
philosophers as Leapold, Wesra and Naess look at the environment ethics
collectively. Which means they look at the big picture which includes the
animals and its environment.

     I will first look at the views of Peter Singer, who is a utilitarian. A
utilitarian is someone who believes the greatest amount of good for the greatest
number. Singer wants the suffering of animals to be taken into consideration.
He states “If a being suffers, there can be no moral justification for refusing
to take that suffering into consideration. No matter what the nature of the
being, the principle of equality requires that its suffering be counted equally
with the like suffering...”. What this means is that the suffering of animals
is not justified. He also states how he thinks a major way to stop the
suffering of animals is to stop the experimenting on animals. He states”...the
widespread practice of experimenting on other species in order to see if certain
substances are safe for human beings, or to test some psychological theory
about the effect of severe punishment or learning...”. When he is talking
about the experiments and suffering of animals. He is concerned most with
domestic animals, he is not too concerned with the other animals in the word.
Views like these make Singer limited.

     Singer is limited and individualistic because he is not concerned with
the environment in which animals live and since he is a utilitarian, equality
is not something he is concerned with. Even other philosopher criticizes the
utilitarian point of view exhibited by Singer. Regan protests “Utilitarian has
no room for the equal moral rights of different individuals because it has no
room for their equal inherent value or worth. What has value for the
utilitarian is the satisfaction of an individuals interests, not the individual
whose interests they are”. If things are not given equal rights, that
includes the environment there will be a tomorrow to look forward to.

     Singer has also been known to show a lack of compassion and sympathy.
As stated by Westra “IT is probable that, at a minimum, instrumental values has
always been ascribed to those animals which have contributed in some way to the
human community down through ages...Still it is possible to raise doubts about
sympathy, as many claim to have no such feeling, including such animals
defenders...

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