Challenging Our Thinking About Wild Animals with Common-Sense Ethical Principles

In Donald Bruce & Ann Bruce (eds.), Transforming Food Systems: Ethics, Innovation and Responsibility. Brill Wageningen Academic. pp. 126-131 (2022)
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Significant disagreement remains in ethics about the duties we have towards wild animals. This paper aims to mediate those disagreements by exploring how they are supported by, or diverge from, the common-sense ethical principles of non-maleficence, beneficence, autonomy and justice popular in medical ethics. We argue that these principles do not clearly justify traditional conservation or a ‘hands-off ’ approach to wild-animal welfare; instead, they support natural negative duties to reduce the harms that we cause as well as natural positive duties to promote the welfare of wild animals.

Author Profiles

Ivo Wallimann-Helmer
Université de Fribourg
Tristan Katz
Université de Fribourg


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