2016 Abstracts Stage 2

Conservation or Cruel…Is it right to keep animals captive?

Julia Sutton, 2016, Stage 2

Territory: I will discuss whether it is right to keep animals captive. In particular, if it is right to keep them captive for our entertainment. Animal captivity raises many important moral questions: Is ever right to restrict animal’s liberty and if so, under what conditions? Do human beings have the right to keep other animals captive? Are we the superior species and if so, why is this the case?

Concepts: Peter Singer: humans are animals but language makes us overlook this. As a utilitarian and hedonist, Singer looks towards the end result, where like human beings, other animals choose pleasure over suffering. Kant: we do not have any direct ethical duties to non-human animals. We only owe ethical duties to rational beings, and nonhuman animals are not included in this group.

‘If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?’ – Peter Singer, Animal Liberation

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