Expanding Global Justice: The International Protection of Animals

Global Policy 4:371-380 (2013)
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This article examines and rejects the view that nonhuman animals cannot be recipients of justice, and argues that the main reasons in favor of universal human rights and global justice also apply in the case of the international protection of the interests of nonhuman animals. In any plausible theory of wellbeing, sentience matters; mere species membership or the place where an animal is born does not. This does not merely entail that regulations of the use of animals aimed at reducing their suffering should be implemented. It actually supports the end of such use, as well as other positive steps to provide help and to promote what is good not only for domesticated animals, but also for those living in the wild. Another reason to bring the protection of animals' interests into the international arena is that it is at this level that numerous animal exploitation industries enjoy the protection of different agreements and institutions. It does not follow from this that changing international law should be animal advocates' first priority, but it does follow that they should conduct their work internationally and not limit it to their own countries.

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Oscar Horta
Universidade de Santiago de Compostela


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