This course will explore a range of philosophical theories of and ethical issues involved in other-than-human animal (“animal” for short) welfare. We will read classic, contemporary, and feminist perspectives on animal ethics. Along the way, we will address issues related to: understanding animal consciousness and animal pain; the ethics of eating animals; the ethics of experimenting on animals; dilemmas of captivity; animals in the wild; animal companions; human/nonhuman conflicts of interest; intersections between animal exploitation and human exploitation; and animal rights. Students will be encouraged to explore and assess all sides of the issues covered. Class sessions will be discussion based and will require both active participation and the timely completion of reading assignments. Written assignments will stress critical thinking and argumentation. This class requires one previous philosophy course.
TEXTS: Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth, Carol J. Adams andLori Gruen, editors. Sister Species: Women, Animals, and Social Justice, Lisa Kemmerer, editor.