Vincent Lajoie 30/11/2012 Humanities for Social Sciences
Professor: Bethany Or
Animal Ethics – Final Essay
One of the most popular yet highly controversial topics surrounding our modern day society is the animal ethics debate over animal hunting policies around the world, but more precisely here in North America. In the past few decades, the modernized human mindset has shifted from the carefree, irresponsible attitude regarding global matters like the environment and animal protection towards a more proactive sense of awareness and protectiveness never seen before. Even though the subject of animal hunting has become a dull and delicate topic of conversation nowadays, I strongly suggest that it is morally permissible to ignore the well-being of sentient beings such as animals in this case, that the animal hunting industry should not be condemned or eliminated. To prove this theory, I will provide sufficient argumentative evidence along with ethical theories and standpoints acquired throughout the semester that are in relation with said arguments that clearly state why I am for the global continuation of hunting without restrictions. Although it is true that the hunting of innocent animals has some sort of disutility, such as the loss of animal life as the most noticeable, it is far more evident that hunting itself represents utility and that the abolition of hunting would undoubtedly be creating disutility (Mill 8). The animal hunting industry is one of the most lucrative sectors and heavy contributors to the provinces economy. There are nearly 100,000 direct jobs in the hunting sector, not to mention hunting & fishing sporting goods and retail stores and private contractors whose revenues aren’t of public record. Furthermore, the hunting & recreation sector generates one out of every six jobs in outlying regions, and another 1.6 indirect jobs in the rest of Québec’s economy. For close to 250 of the Québec municipalities the hunting industry is the main foundation of the local economy. All of these statistics concerning the economic sector are a glimpse of the jobs that are potentially at stake which would possibly be eradicated should the hunting industry be imposed violations or be eliminated in its entirety. According to the theory of utilitarianism, it is morally wrong to take a decision that would harm more people than it benefits, in this case the thousands of workers that would lose their jobs and the benefiting party would be the animals, who aren’t as capable as humans (Mill 8). Even putting us humans on a pedestal and reducing animals to lesser beings without a doubt sounds cold and cruel at first, we can nevertheless conclude through an objective eye that the benefits of keeping hunting in place unquestionably outweighs the impending consequences. Shifting now towards a different perspective, human need. Humans have now and always needed the use of animals not only for survival, but also to thrive in society. To reinforce this theory, we needn’t look further than our home country of Canada, which was basically founded upon the use of animals with the traditional use of their fur for clothing, their muscle and flesh for food and even for commercial use such as the fur trade in 17th century Quebec. It is apparent that the first settlers in Quebec and the rest of Canada weren’t too concerned with animal cruelty or animal ethics since it was considered their duty, as well as it being morally right to hunt for their survival according to “Kanthian ethics’ ” principle that it is considered right in regards to moral law or the universal maxim. On the other side of the spectrum considering animal ethics, it is said that non-human sentience is not a sufficient condition for moral consideration and should only be extended to those individuals who posses certain...
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Kant, Immanuel. Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals (excerpts). Trans. James W. Ellington. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing, 1993. 30-32 and 36-38.
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