The ethical contract as a tool in organic animal husbandry

Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 17 (1):23-49 (2004)
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This article explores what an ethicfor organic animal husbandry might look like,departing from the assumption that organicfarming is substantially based in ecocentricethics. We argue that farm animals arenecessary functional partners in sustainableagroecosystems. This opens up additional waysto argue for their moral standing. We suggestan ethical contract to be used as acomplementary to the ecocentric framework. Weexpound the content of the contract and end bysuggesting how to apply this contract inpractice. The contract enjoins us to share thewealth created in the agroecosystem (by ourjoint contributions) by enjoining us to carefor the welfare and needs of the individualanimal, and to protect them from exploitation(just as human co-workers should not beexploited). The contract makes promoting goodanimal welfare a necessary condition forbenefiting farm animals. Animals for their partare guaranteed coverage under the contract solong as they continue to contribute to thesystem with products and services.



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Author's Profile

Raymond Anthony
University of Alaska, Anchorage

Citations of this work

Concepts of Animal Health and Welfare in Organic Livestock Systems.Mette Vaarst & Hugo F. Alrøe - 2012 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (3):333-347.
Can natural behavior be cultivated? The farm as local human/animal culture.Pär Segerdahl - 2007 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 20 (2):167-193.
Intentions and Values in Animal Welfare Legislation and Standards.Frida Lundmark, C. Berg, O. Schmid, D. Behdadi & H. Röcklinsberg - 2014 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 27 (6):991-1017.

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References found in this work

Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Susan J. Armstrong & Richard George Botzler.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 2004 - Univ of California Press.
Animals and why they matter.Mary Midgley - 1983 - Athens: University of Georgia Press.
Animal Liberation.J. Baird Callicott - 1980 - Environmental Ethics 2 (4):311-338.

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