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Palmer, Clare, , . Killing Animals in Animal Shelters
2006, In: Killing Animals, edited by The Animal Studies Group. Champaign: Illinois University Press.
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Summary: In this article, Palmer provides a clear survey of positions on killing domestic animals (cats and dogs) in animal shelters. She argues that there are three ways of understanding the killing that occurs in animal shelters: consequentialism, rights based, and relation based. She considers the relationship of humans and domesticated animals that leads to their killing in animal shelters as well as providing an ethical assessment of the practice.

Comment: This text is a clear introduction to the ethical issues involved in keeping 'pets' or 'companion animals.' It would serve as a clear introduction to the problem of 'painless killing' in a course on ethics of killing, environmental ethics, or animal ethics.

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Steinbock, Bonnie, , . Speciesism and the Idea of Equality
1978, Philosophy 53 (204): 247-256.
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Abstract: Most of us believe that we are entitled to treat members of other species in ways which would be considered wrong if inflicted on members of our own species. We kill them for food, keep them confined, use them in painful experiments. The moral philosopher has to ask what relevant difference justifies this difference in treatment. A look at this question will lead us to re-examine the distinctions which we have assumed make a moral difference.

Comment: This journal article is a response to Peter Singer's Animal Liberation, though you need not have read Animal Liberation in order to understand this article, as Steinbock provides a clear overview of Singer's main claims. The text would be useful for rebutting Singer's arguments in a course on animal ethics or environmental ethics. It would also be of use in a course on moral theory that involved questions of moral consideration or moral equality.

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