There is a widespread belief that for their own safety and for the protection of wildlife, cats should be permanently kept indoors. Against this view, I argue that cat guardians have a duty to provide their feline companions with outdoor access. The argument is based on a sophisticated hedonistic account of animal well-being that acknowledges that the performance of species-normal ethological behavior is especially pleasurable. Territorial behavior, which requires outdoor access, is a feline-normal ethological behavior, so when a cat is (...) permanently confined to the indoors, her ability to flourish is impaired. Since cat guardians have a duty not to impair the well-being of their cats, the impairment of cat flourishing via confinement signifies a moral failing. Although some cats assume significant risks and sometimes kill wild animals when roaming outdoors, these important considerations do not imply that all cats should be deprived of the opportunity to access the outdoors. Indeed, they do not, by themselves, imply that any cat should be permanently kept indoors. (shrink)
Dressing up animals in ridiculous costumes, shaming dogs on the internet, playing Big Buck Hunter at the local tavern, feeding vegan food to cats, and producing and consuming “knockout” animals, what, if anything, do these acts have in common? In this article, I develop two respect-based arguments that explain how these acts are morally problematic, even though they might not always, if ever, affect the experiential welfare of animals. While these acts are not ordinary wrongs, they are animal dignitary wrongs.
In his influential article on the ethics of eating animals, Alastair Norcross argues that consumers of factory raised meat and puppy torturers are equally condemnable because both knowingly cause serious harm to sentient creatures just for trivial pleasures. Against this claim, I argue that those who buy and consume factory raised meat, even those who do so knowing that they cause harm, have a partial excuse for their wrongdoings. Meat eaters act under social duress, which causes volitional impairment, and they (...) often act from deeply ingrained habits, which causes epistemic impairment. But puppy torturers act against cultural norms and habits, consciously choosing to perform wrongful acts. Consequently, the average consumer of factory raised meat has, while puppy torturers lack, a cultural excuse. But although consumers of factory raised meat aren’t blameworthy, they are partially morally responsible for their harmful behavior – and for this, they should feel regret. (shrink)
This is a chapter written for an audience that is not intimately familiar with the philosophy of animal consumption. It provides an overview of the harms that animals, the environment, and humans endure as a result of industrial animal agriculture, and it concludes with a defense of ostroveganism and a tentative defense of cultured meat.
Marino & Merskin’s review shows that sheep are intelligent and highly social but their methodology has some shortcomings. I describe five problems with reviewing only the academic and scientific literature and suggest how one might provide an even more compelling case for the complexity of sheep minds.
Moral ignorance is always blameworthy, but “failing to realize” that P when you have sufficient evidence for P is sometimes exculpatory, according to Elizabeth Harman (2017). What explains this alleged puzzle? Harman (2017) leaves this an open question. In this article, a solution is offered.