Presentation on theme: "Animalsin Agriculture Animals in Agriculture and Ethics Gary Comstock, Director."— Presentation transcript:
Animalsin Agriculture Animals in Agriculture and Ethics Gary Comstock, Director
Overview 1. What is ethics? 2. What is agriculture? 3. Three ways to raise hogs 4. Three ethical traditions
What is ethics? Evaluative study of arguments about what actions are right (wrong) and which states of affairs are good (bad).
What is ethics? Ethical considerations paradigmatically come into play when an action involves harm harm or potential harm to humans.
What is ethics? Only humans? Animals?Plants?Ecosystems? Artificial intelligences?
What is ethics? Ethical considerations may come into play when an action involves harm harm or potential harm to sentient individuals.
What are ethical principles? Ethical principles are fair (consistent, universalizable) principles. Whatever is right (or wrong) in one situation is right (or wrong) in any relevantly similar situation.
Ethical principles Ethical principles treat individuals consistently. Whatever it would be wrong to do to Paul in situation Whatever it would be wrong to do to Paul in situation x...
Ethical principles Ethical principles treat individuals consistently. Whatever it would be wrong to do to Paul in situation be wrong to do to Pablo or Paulette in situation. Whatever it would be wrong to do to Paul in situation x would be wrong to do to Pablo or Paulette in situation x.
What is agriculture? Productive use of plants and animals to meet human interests in food and fiber.
Overview 1. What is ethics? 2. What is agriculture? 3. Three ways to raise hogs 4. Three ethical traditions for evaluating ways to raise hogs
Overview Three Ways to Raise Hogs Extensive Intensive Hoops Three Ethical Theories Cartesianism Utilitarianism Animal Rights
Three Ways to Raise Hogs ExtensiveIntensiveHoops
Hog Wild Advantages:Stimulating environments Ability to pursue interests: e.g., nest-building and rooting Space to escape from dominant pigs Ability to form natural social groupings Ability to escape from predators (including humans)
Hog Wild Disadvantages: n n Higher mortality rate for infant pigs than in confinement n n Climate extremes (hot and cold weather) n n No veterinary care n n Higher mortality rate for adults from starvation, predation, and disease than in confinement
Three Ways to Raise Hogs Intensive confinement: Hog tied Hog tied
Hog Tied Advantages: n Lower infant mortality rate n Individualized diet (particularly advantageous for sows otherwise at bottom of pecking order) n Protection from aggressors and predators n Typically excellent veterinary care n Advanced genetics means larger litters (More hogs in existence)
Disadvantages Intensive confinement n n Inability to pursue interests, e.g., build nests, root, scratch, socialize, run, establish separate eating and defecation areas n n High number of aberrant and stereotypic behaviors (18 per day)
Stereotypies n Repeated behaviors that serve no obvious purpose n Associated with restricted movement and decreased exteroceptive stimulation n Bar biting, tongue rolling, dog sitting, sham chewing, drinker pressing, tail biting, urine drinking, polydypsia, mounting
Intensive confinement Disadvantages: Boredom, much less responsive to external stimuli Lameness from hard sur- faces & lack of exercise Few play behaviors (0 - 50 per day) Prone to ulcers
` A Third Way to Raise Hogs Hoop Hoop Structures Structures
Hog Hoops Advantages: n n Stimulating environments: can choose warmer or cooler microenvironments n n Ability to pursue interests, e.g., rooting, scratching, socializing, running n n 1.5 aberrant behaviors per day (18 when confined) n n 50-350 play behaviors per day (0-50 when confined)
Hog Hoops Advantages: n Larger groups--more, and more varied, social interactions (than in confinement) n Better veterinary care (than in wild) n Lower mortality rate from starvation, predation, disease (than in wild) n Lower mortality rate for infant pig (than in wild) n Better air quality (than in confinement)
Hog Hoops Disadvantages: n n Slightly more difficult to provide individualized diets than in confinement n n Potentially more exposure to elements (hot and cold weather) than in confinement
Three Ethical Traditions 1. Cartesianism (Human dominion) 2. Utilitarianism (Animal welfare) 3. Animal Rights (Vegetarianism)
Three Ethical Traditions 1. Cartesianism (Human dominion)
Cartesianism Animals are not conscious because they lack -- language -- reason Without language or reason, animals are incapable of feeling pain or pleasure. Rene Descartes French philosopher d. 1650
Cartesianism Cartesianism Because hogs cannot feel pain, any and all methods of raising and slaughtering hogs is ethically justifiable. - Peter Carruthers, The Animals Issue (Cambridge University Press, 1992). (Cambridge University Press, 1992). Wh-wh-what? Wh-wh-what?
Three ethical traditions 2. Utilitarianism (Animal welfare)
Utilitarians believe that: Utilitarians believe that: the morally right action is the action that maximizes aggregate happiness. John Stuart Mill English philosopher d. 1873
Utilitarianism Utilitarianism Every individual affected by an action counts equally with every other individual. That is, interest x of individual Paul counts equally with interest x of individuals Paulette, Pablo, and Paolo.
Utilitarianism Every individual affected by an action may have their happiness increased or diminished by the action. To assess an action: 1. Assign positive values to all increases in aggregate happiness. 2. Assign negative values to all diminishments in aggregate happiness. 3. Calculate the results.
Utilitarianism The right action to perform is always the action that results in the greatest overall increase in aggregate happiness. We are morally obligated to perform right actions.
Utilitarians believe: Animals are sentient. Animals can have their welfare (“happiness”) enhanced or diminished. Therefore, we must take animal interests into account in deciding how to treat them.
What is “happiness”? Preference utilitarians believe that individuals are happy to the extent that they achieve and maintain an integrated satisfaction of their preferences (desires, plans, and projects).
Utilitarianism Preference utilitarians believe: It is wrong to harm an animal unless the harm is outweighed by benefits (to that animal, or other animals, or humans).
Preference Utilitarianism It is prima facie wrong to kill an individual because it robs the individual of its ability to satisfy its preferences. However, the harm of killing an individual may be outweighed by benefits to other individuals.
Killing hogs is justified The benefit of meat-eating to humans outweighs the harm done the animal. Therefore: Pork production is morally the right action because it maximizes aggregate happiness. -- R. G. Frey, Interests and Rights: The Case Against Animals (Oxford: Clarendon, 1980)
The benefits to humans do not outweigh the harm to the animal. Pork production is morally the wrong action because it does not maximize aggregate happiness. Peter Singer Princeton philosopher Animal Liberation (NY: A New York Review Book, 1975) Killing hogs is not justified Killing hogs is not justified
Three Ethical Traditions AnimalRights Hog Heaven Hog Heaven
Animal Rights Rights theorists reject the utilitarian view that we are justified in harming innocent individuals so that others may benefit. Tom Regan NC State University The Case for Animal Rights (University of California Press, 1983)
Animal Rights 1st Apply the principle of consistency: Treat similar cases similarly 2nd Consider the mental states of severely cognitively impaired (SCI) humans: Alzheimer’s patients, those with extremely low cognitive powers, the irreversibly mentally diminished
1. SCI humans have moral rights. 2. Some animals have mental capacities that are at least as developed and complex as SCI humans. 3. Therefore, applying the principle of consistency, some animals must also have moral rights. Animal rights theorists argue that:
Animal Rights Animal Rights Pork production is morally wrong because the harm done to the pig violates its rights, no matter how great the benefits to humans.
Three Ways to Raise Hogs Three Ethical Theories Conclusion: Which theory is right? theory is right?
Which theory is right? Cartesianism n Fails to acknowledge shared evolutionary lineage of humans and animals n Fails to acknowledge behavioral and physiological similarities of humans and animals n Therefore: Probably unsatisfactory
Which theory is right? Utilitarianism n Allows us to inflict pain on innocent individuals to achieve benefits for others n Does not protect SCI humans n Therefore: Probably unsatisfactory?
Which theory is right? Animal Rights n Does not allow us to inflict pain on innocent individuals to achieve benefits for others n Protects marginal humans
Which theory is right? Animal Rights n n Acknowledges shared evolutionary lineage of humans and animals n n Acknowledges behavioral and physiological similarities of humans and animals n n Therefore: Probably best of current alternatives?
Acknowledgements Photo credits: n Hog wild; sow in crate; sow biting bar; and confinement buildings –The Animal Welfare Institute http://www.animalwelfare.com/farm/index.html n Sow in farrowing crate with piglets; sow bites bar - Copyright Compassion in World Farming Ltd. Reg. No. 2998256 (England). Registered office: Charles House, 5A Charles Street, Petersfield, Hampshire, England. email: email@example.com http://www.ciwf.co.uk - Copyright Compassion in World Farming Ltd. Reg. No. 2998256 (England). Registered office: Charles House, 5A Charles Street, Petersfield, Hampshire, England. email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://email@example.com
Acknowledgements Photo credits: –Hog hoops: Dr. Mark Honeyman, Coordinator, Research and Demonstration Farms, Iowa State University http://www.ae.iastate.edu/hoop_structures/home.htm
Three Ways to Raise Hogs ExtensiveIntensive Hoop Structures Three Ethical Theories CartesianismUtilitarianism Animal Rights Using ethical theories to assess treatment of hogs Conclusion: Which theory is right?
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