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Biology, Ethics, and Animals$
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Rosemary Rodd

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198240525

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240525.001.0001

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Killing Animals

Killing Animals

Chapter:
(p.123) 6 Killing Animals
Source:
Biology, Ethics, and Animals
Author(s):

Rosemary Rodd

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240525.003.0006

This chapter argues that any satisfactory moral system has to give some account of the way we ought to treat non-human animals. Animals are subjects, not objects, and as such they are entities with a particular individual value. It is suggested in this chapter that simple consciousness is sufficient to make killing a harm even when there is no attendant suffering. The question of whether lack of highly developed consciousness of self significantly reduces the harm involved in killing is important for a wide range of decisions we make about the way we ought to act towards animals. This chapter posits that killing conscious animals becomes a more serious wrong as the level of consciousness involved increases, but that death is a harm even for animals who only possess simple consciousness.

Keywords:   moral system, value, consciousness, harm, suffering, killing

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