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Environmental Values

World Poverty, Animal Minds and the Ethics of Veterinary Expenditure

John Hadley and Siobhan O'Sullivan

Environmental Values 18 (2009): 361-378. DOI: 10.3197/096327109X12474739376578

ABSTRACT

In this paper we make an argument for limiting veterinary expenditure on companion animals. The argument combines two principles: the obligation to give and the self-consciousness requirement. In line with the former, we ought to give money to organisations helping to alleviate preventable suffering and death in developing countries; the latter states that it is only intrinsically wrong to painlessly kill an individual that is self-conscious. Combined, the two principles inform an argument along the following lines: rather than spending inordinate amounts of money on veterinary care when a companion animal is sick or injured, it is better to give the money to an aid organisation and painlessly kill the animal.

KEYWORDS

Pet keeping, giving to charity, utilitarianism, Singer, Shallow Pond

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Animal RelationsEmily Brady


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