Legal Responses to Questions of Animal Ethics and Religious Freedom

Authored by: Rachel J. Wechsler

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Animal Ethics

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138592728
eBook ISBN: 9780429489846
Adobe ISBN:


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When the rights of individuals to freely practice their religion and animal ethics come into conflict, governments may intervene. This has happened in the cases of animal sacrifice, religious slaughtering practices, and the hunting of endangered species in the name of religion. In balancing the competing interests of religious freedom, animal ethics, and enforcing existing laws, the interests of one or more stakeholder groups are usually compromised. In spite of governments’ recognition of harm to animals associated with religious practices, they fail to connect it with more widespread, implicitly sanctioned, animal harm of a similar nature, which is inflicted upon animals on a daily basis.

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