Well-being and animals

Authored by: Christopher M. Rice

The Routledge Handbook Of Philosophy Of Well-Being

Print publication date:  August  2015
Online publication date:  July  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415714532
eBook ISBN: 9781315682266
Adobe ISBN: 9781317402657


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Animal well-being has received significant attention over the past several decades as philosophers and the wider public have begun to question the way that non-human animals (henceforth “animals”) are treated in contemporary society. Much of this debate has centered on the moral status of animals and on how much weight should be given to their interests in moral decision making. These questions, in turn, relate to debates about practices such as factory farming, animal experiments, zoos and aquariums, and the pet trade. In this chapter, I will not directly address the morality of these practices or the question of how much weight should be given to animal interests. Rather, I will focus on the related question of what these interests are—on what makes life go well for animals. To do this, I will examine several theories of animal well-being.

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