By E. Aaltola
Exploring how animal anguish is made significant inside of Western ramifications, the publication investigates topics akin to skepticism bearing on non-human event, cultural roots of compassion, and modern ways to animal ethics. At its middle is the pivotal query: what's the ethical importance of animal discomfort?
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Additional resources for Animal Suffering: Philosophy and Culture
When one observes the behaviour of animals, it strikes one as absurd to suggest that they are not capable of feeling the type of substantial pain or mental distress that can be called suffering. Our everyday interaction with non-human animals tells us quite clearly that Descartes was wrong: these are not machine-like beings, but creatures able to experience both the positive and the negative. However, it should be added that often observation needs to be very astute in order to recognize animal suffering.
The European Union has been hailed for banning battery cages for hens (starting from the year 2012); however, the law still allows 750 cm2 ‘enrichment cages’ (of which only 600 cm2 is ‘usable area’) to be employed, which in effect means that the birds still have very little space. In fact, the law has been criticized by animal welfare campaigners for remaining a superficial publicity stunt, as the cages still remain minuscule, and even the enrichment provided in them is minimal: ‘Almost all normal behaviours require significantly more usable space per bird than is provided in “enriched” cages ...
Therefore, definitional differences concerning welfare can lead 26 Animal Suffering: Philosophy and Culture to mutually contradictory views on what is best for the animal, and the same law may thus be interpreted to have altogether differing practical implications. Here, vested interests often play a part. Scientists funded by animal industries may be (even without thinking) motivated to use definitions of welfare that suit the interests of the industries. Also, scientists may simply hold an anthropocentric, utilitarian stance towards animals, emphasizing the significance of human benefit and downplaying the cost faced by animals (Fraser 2008).
Animal Suffering: Philosophy and Culture by E. Aaltola