By Roger Scruton
Roger Scruton units out a compelling account of the way we must always take into consideration the morality of our relations to different animals. He argues that it really is improper to think that animals instantly have rights, yet indicates we owe them tasks counting on no matter if we're treating them as pets, for laboratory experiments or for meat. this can be crucial examining within the mild of the new public predicament over concerns resembling veal calf exportation and the BSE main issue>
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Additional resources for Animal Rights And Wrongs
Although animals have no rights, we still have duties and responsibilities towards them, or towards some of them. These will cut across the utilitarian equation, distinguishing the animals who are close to us and who have a claim on our protection from those towards whom our duties fall under the broader rule of charity. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, we relate to animals in three distinct situations, which define three distinct kinds of responsibility: as pets, as domestic animals reared for human purposes and as wild creatures.
Moreover, 60 Demos This page is covered by the Demos open access licence. Some rights reserved. uk/openaccess 03. Animals 97 1/5/03 1:35 pm Page 61 The moral status of animals while our sympathies ought to be – and unavoidably will be – extended to the animals, they should not be indiscriminate. Although animals have no rights, we still have duties and responsibilities towards them, or towards some of them. These will cut across the utilitarian equation, distinguishing the animals who are close to us and who have a claim on our protection from those towards whom our duties fall under the broader rule of charity.
Suppose that Alfred is driving a lorry, the maintenance of which he is not responsible for, and discovers that the brakes have failed. If he swerves to the right he kills a man at a bus stop; if he takes no action he will run down two pedestrians at a crossing, while if he swerves to the left he will drive into a crowd of children. Here, surely, the utilitarian calculus applies and Alfred would be blamed for not applying it. By swerving to the right he absolves himself of all responsibility for the death of the victim, while at the same time minimising the human cost of the disaster.
Animal Rights And Wrongs by Roger Scruton