Animal Pain and Welfare

Sahar Akhtar

in The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195371963
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Animal Pain and Welfare

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This article probes the widely held view in philosophy and the biological sciences that the amount and ways in which a nonhuman animal can experience pain, by comparison to the human animal, is limited to the feeling of physical pain. The justification for this view is often said to be that animals are less cognitively sophisticated than humans because they lack awareness of self and a sense of the past and the future. This view suggests that pain for animals is not as bad as pain is for us. The discussion presents a notably different approach to the understanding of animal pain. It uses welfare analysis and decision-making frameworks to argue that pain may be worse for animals than the comparable amount of pain is for humans.

Keywords: biological sciences; pain experience; animal pain; welfare analysis

Article.  12694 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science

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