Killing Animals

Rosemary Rodd

in Biology, Ethics, and Animals

Published in print October 1992 | ISBN: 9780198240525
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680199 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Killing Animals

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This chapter argues that any satisfactory moral system has to give some account of the way we ought to treat non-human animals. Animals are subjects, not objects, and as such they are entities with a particular individual value. It is suggested in this chapter that simple consciousness is sufficient to make killing a harm even when there is no attendant suffering. The question of whether lack of highly developed consciousness of self significantly reduces the harm involved in killing is important for a wide range of decisions we make about the way we ought to act towards animals. This chapter posits that killing conscious animals becomes a more serious wrong as the level of consciousness involved increases, but that death is a harm even for animals who only possess simple consciousness.

Keywords: moral system; value; consciousness; harm; suffering; killing

Chapter.  4174 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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