Beasts, Saints, and Heroes

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

Beasts, Saints, and Heroes

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Forgoing personal benefits to avoid causing injury to animals is a good act, but not obligatory, and animals may be said to be creatures who possess moral status, but not rights. This chapter argues that it is possible to demonstrate that accepting that at least some animals possess at least some definite rights to moral attention involves fewer violations of our intuitive perceptions than an obstinate insistence that only humans can be right-holders. The chapter further believes that a world in which animal suffering was reduced would be preferable to present conditions if this could be achieved without even the slightest inconvenience to humans. People who advocate absolute rights for animals tend to be individuals who also have personal relationships with some non-human animals.

Keywords: personal benefits; animal suffering; moral status; rights; personal relationships

Chapter.  9314 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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