Sanctuary, Not Remedy

Karen S. Emmerman

in The Ethics of Captivity

Published in print May 2014 | ISBN: 9780199977994
Published online June 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199375172 | DOI:
Sanctuary, Not Remedy

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Paul W. Taylor argued that humans have a duty to make restitution whenever we harm wild animals and plants in service of human interests. Taylor further averred that making restitution means we can escape “eternal guilt” at having used them because “there is a way to make amends.” Taylor’s insight that restitution is a vital part of our interspecies interactions is important, but he does not reflect deeply on the complications encountered by these efforts. This chapter carefully examines the complexities of making restitution to nonhuman animals when captivity is a necessary part of those efforts. It explores how sanctuaries, often thought of as remedies to the harms animals suffer at human hands, are in fact morally limited as sites of restitution. Our efforts to make amends to wild animals in sanctuaries are better understood as part of the work of moral repair.

Keywords: captivity; sanctuaries; restitution; moral repair; conflicts of interest

Chapter.  8186 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Philosophy

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