Ethical Treatment of Animals

Topics: Ethics, Utilitarianism, Morality Pages: 4 (1683 words) Published: September 8, 2012
Ethical Treatment of Animals
Kenneth Huddleston
SOC 120 Introduction to Ethics and Social Responsibility
Instructor Hester
July 23, 2012

The use of animals at the cost of their lives is a touchy subject with me. Animal shelters euthanize more animals than get adopted. Animals raised for food are often pinned or caged in cramped, unsanitary conditions. People get pets and do not take care of them and mistreat them. This paper will examine the ethical treatment of animals using virtue ethics. According to this theory, when an act is performed on an animal, if it is ethical or not depends on the actions or consequences of the action and the kind of person someone is. Some people say animals have moral status and others do not agree. They just believe they are just animals. “There are activists and movements that argue that deprived of legal protection, animals have become defenseless against exploitation and abuse by humans.” (Mosser, 2010) I have no problem with the use of animals if the animal is not harmed. Some people believe people do not have a moral obligation towards animals and that they have no rights. “Virtue theory states that an individual cannot separate his actions from his personality. (Audi, 2010) So a persons actions against the animals is determined by their personality. This theory supports fair treatment of animals. Peoples’ moral values are for treating animals fairly. Relativism is no absolute truth. Each person has their own points of view as to how to treat animals. They think all actions against animals are ethical.

If we use the thinking approach, emotivism, it could have a positive or negative effect on an animal. This is the approach I take because I am all for protecting animals and cannot stand for them to be mistreated. The ethical egoism approach is your actions support self interest. So there is conflicting issues between the interest of the humans and the animals. The animals want to live but...
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