By Roger Scruton
Roger Scruton units out a compelling account of ways we should always take into consideration the morality of our relations to different animals. He argues that it truly is fallacious to think that animals instantly have rights, yet indicates we owe them tasks looking on even if we're treating them as pets, for laboratory experiments or for meat. this can be crucial examining within the mild of the hot public challenge over matters equivalent to veal calf exportation and the BSE trouble>
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Extra resources for Animal Rights And Wrongs
But nobody would dream of putting a sick man ‘out of his misery’ without first securing his own most fervent and considered consent – indeed, without making sure that he himself initiates the process and relieves us of the responsibility that would otherwise attach to killing him. Simply put, the death of a person is an evil of another order from the evil of pain and cannot be weighed against it. To enter into calculations of the kind that motivate us when we have a lame horse ‘destroyed’ would be to show a peculiar kind of moral corruption – the corruption involved when a moral being is treated as just another part of the natural order.
This is confirmed by all the other concepts which seem to pile in irresistibly behind the ideas of rationality and personhood – concepts which suggest a distinct form of mental life, unknown to the lower animals. The second point is this. It is true that we arrive at the rational from the merely animal by the route of behaviour, and that there are degrees of complexity both before and after the transition. But we are dealing here, in Hegel’s phrase, with a ‘transition from quantity to quality’.
It concerns the deep and impassable difference between personal relations, founded on dialogue, criticism and the sense of justice, and animal relations, founded on affections and needs. The moral problem of animals arises because they cannot enter into relations of the first kind, while we are so much bound by those relations that they seem to tie us even to creatures who cannot themselves be bound by them. Defenders of ‘animal liberation’ have made much of the fact that animals suffer as we do: they feel pain, hunger, cold and fear and therefore, as Singer puts it, have ‘interests’ which form, or ought to form, part of the moral equation.
Animal Rights And Wrongs by Roger Scruton