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Gruen, Lori. Animals
1991, In Peter Singer (ed.) A Companion to Ethics, Blackwell Publishers: Oxford, Malden, 343-353
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Added by: Björn Freter
Abstract: While there are different philosophical principles that may help in deciding how we ought to treat animals, one strand runs through all those that withstand critical scrutiny: we ought not to treat animals the way we, as a society, are treating them now. We are very rarely faced with lifeboat decisions: our moral choices are not usually ones that exist in extremes. It simply isn’t the case that I will suffer great harm without a fur coat or a leg of lamb. The choice between our baby and our dog is one that virtually none of us will be forced to make. The hypothetical realm is one where we can clarify and refine our moral intuitions and principles, but our choices and the suffering of billions of animals are not hypothetical. However the lines are drawn, there are no defensible grounds for treating animals in any way other than as beings worthy of moral consideration.

Comment (from this Blueprint): Introduction into basic questions of (non-human) animal ethics.

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