While it is generally accepted that animal welfare matters morally, it is less clear how to morally evaluate the ending of an animal's life. It seems to matter for the animal whether it experiences pain or pleasure, or enjoyment or suffering. But does it also matter for the animal whether it lives or dies? Is a longer life better for an animal than a shorter life? If so, under what conditions is this so, and why is this the case? Is it better for an animal to live rather than never to be born at all? The Ethics of Killing Animals
addresses these value-theoretical questions about animal life, death and welfare. It also discusses whether and how answers to these questions are relevant for our moral duties towards animals. Is killing animals ever morally acceptable and, if so, under what conditions? Do animals have moral rights, such as the right to life and should they be accorded legal rights? How should our moral duties towards animals inform our individual behavior and policy-making? This volume presents a collection of contributions from major thinkers in ethics and animal welfare, with a special focus on the moral evaluation of killing animals.
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