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 (including zoos, conservation, companion animals, and sanctuaries); animals in the wild; 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.
TEXT: The Ethics of Captivity, Lori Gruen, editor.