Exploring Different Philosophical Approaches to Animal Protection in Law
The prevailing legal position for almost all animals is no more than that they deserve protection against gratuitous cruelty, consistent with an orthodox, narrow understanding of the moral significance of animals. But this position invites questions about where the line should be drawn. Why and to what extent do animals deserve protection from suffering? Why and to what extent do they deserve the opportunity to live a fulfilling life in accordance with their capabilities? On what basis should some animals be singled out for greater legal protection than others? This chapter considers some of the major contemporary contributions that have been made in answering these questions, and the ways in which these inform arguments for re-evaluating the legal status of animals. It is argued that while there are a variety of ways in which these questions may be addressed, a unifying theme is that a change in the prevailing orthodoxy on the moral significance of animals, as reflected in law, is warranted.
Animal Law in Australasia: A New Dialogue
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Law and Society