By Roger Scruton
Roger Scruton units out a compelling account of the way we must always take into consideration the morality of our relations to different animals. He argues that it's incorrect to think that animals instantly have rights, yet indicates we owe them tasks looking on even if we're treating them as pets, for laboratory experiments or for meat. this is often crucial interpreting within the gentle of the new public hindrance over matters equivalent to veal calf exportation and the BSE predicament>
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Additional info for Animal Rights And Wrongs
Uk/openaccess 03. Animals 97 1/5/03 1:35 pm Page 37 Life, death, joy and suffering The distinctions between the various levels of mental life are relevant here. Insects, and other animals which lack the ability to learn, contain no growing store of knowledge and affections. Nothing changes in their motivation and no attachment to this world is evinced in their behaviour that is not also evinced by a plant or a virus. True, they shun the more obvious dangers – but only in the mechanical way required by their mental ‘software’.
It follows from the above account of the sources of moral sentiment that there will be four separate sources of moral argument: personality, with its associated moral law; the ethic of virtue; sympathy and, finally, piety. Most of our moral difficulties and ‘hard cases’ derive from the areas where these four kinds of thinking deliver conf licting results. The moral law We do not need to accept Kant’s sublime derivation of the categorical imperative in order to recognise that human beings tend spontaneously to agree about the morality of inter-personal relations.
Firstly, the sufferings of a self-conscious being have an added dimension. We do not only feel pain, we anticipate it, rehearse it and accompany it with frightening thoughts of its cause. Unlike the lower animals, we know pain as the sign of a deep disorder and while we shun pain as they do, we are also aware of its terrible significance. A fox hit by a car drags its broken leg painfully behind it, but does not know that this broken leg means death. A man with a broken leg knows that he must seek help and, if help is out of the question, that he must die in agony.