By Roger Scruton
Roger Scruton units out a compelling account of the way we should always take into consideration the morality of our relations to different animals. He argues that it truly is fallacious to think that animals immediately have rights, yet indicates we owe them tasks reckoning on even if we're treating them as pets, for laboratory experiments or for meat. this is often crucial analyzing within the gentle of the hot public predicament over concerns comparable to veal calf exportation and the BSE concern>
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This, I believe, is a primary source of moral thinking about animals. Finally, when all requirements of right and virtue have been met, we can respond to the call of sympathy: and here a kind of utilitarian thinking comes into play, as the means to extend our sympathies to all whose interests are affected by our acts. Even so, the authority of this reasoning is not absolute: for sympathy may compete with piety. We rationalise our pieties by measuring them against our sympathies and discipline our sympathies by testing against the intuitions which stem from piety.
The absence Demos 33 This page is covered by the Demos open access licence. Some rights reserved. uk/openaccess 03. Animals 97 1/5/03 1:35 pm Page 34 Animal rights and wrongs of one chicken’s pleasure is made up for by the presence of another’s. But the individuality of a dog or an elephant places a brake on such utilitarian reasoning, just as the individuality of the human being forbids us from sacrificing one person’s happiness for the sake of another’s greater good. There is a sense in which Jumbo the elephant is not replaceable by Dumbo; for his being and remaining Jumbo is fundamental to our concern for him.
Animals 97 1/5/03 1:35 pm Page 56 Animal rights and wrongs thing we have no right to do, and all reasoning stops once this moral truth is recognised. Suppose Elizabeth and Jane are both suffering from a rare disease, and William, Jane’s husband, has obtained at great expense a quantity of the only drug that will cure it. By administering the whole quantity to Jane he ensures a 90 per cent chance of her survival; by dividing it between Jane and Elizabeth, he will provide a 60 per cent chance of recovery to both.