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Animal Law Education Module 1: Moral and Legal Status of Animals
Terms in this set (29)
Causing an animal pain that, in the circumstances, is unjustifiable, unnecessary or unreasonable.
The field of ethics concerned with the ethical relationship between humans and animals and particularly concerned with the question of whether animals have moral status.
Animal rights law
An approach to animal law that seeks to challenge animals' legal status as personal property and to secure fundamental rights for (at least some) animals.
Animal welfare law
An approach to animal law that seeks to protect animals from unnecessary harm and grants animals a limited moral status.
Animal welfare legislation
Legislation that seeks to protect the health and well being of animals by imposing duties of care on those in possession of or responsible for animals, and prohibiting certain forms of conduct deemed to be cruel.
Ethical theories or frameworks that grant moral status only to human beings.
Argument from equality
The argument that a being is entitled to legal personhood if they are the same as other beings who already have legal personhood.
Argument from liberty
The argument that any being with the capacity for autonomy is entitled to legal personhood.
A philosopher who argued that there is a natural hierarchy of living beings, with humans at the top.
A state where a living being is confined in a particular area and prevented from escaping.
A philosopher who argued that animals are mere 'automata', complex machines made of muscle and bone that respond unthinkingly to stimulation.
The differential treatment of people based on their race, skin colour, ethnicity, gender or sexual identity.
Intensive animal farming or industrial livestock production in order to maximize production output while minimizing production costs.
A type of legal remedy that can be used to bring prisoners before a court to make a ruling on whether they have been unlawfully imprisoned.
An approach to environmental ethics according to which, instead of focusing upon our obligations to individual humans, animals and plants, we should focus upon our obligations to species, environments and ecosystems.
A philosopher who argued that a person can be said to be doing the right thing only when they act with a good will, and they act with a good will when they choose to do something because it is their duty to do so.
Last tree scenario
A thought experiment demonstrating the existence of moral status in non-animal entities.
Formal recognition as a legal person and the object of legal rights, typically granted to a human being but also to corporations and, occasionally, natural entities such as rivers.
A claim recognized and delimited by law for the purpose of securing it.
A being's entitlement to our moral consideration, usually expressed in terms of the possession of rights or inclusion in utilitarian calculations of overall well being.
Non-anthropocentric ethical model
An ethical model that extends moral status beyond humans to include animals, all living entities and/or holistic entities.
Nonhuman Rights Project
An organisation established by US lawyer Steven Wise that seeks to change the legal status of certain animals from 'property' to 'legal persons'.
A thing owned by a legal person.
Right to bodily liberty
Freedom from unjust imprisonment.
Right to bodily integrity
Freedom from harmful bodily interference and experimentation.
The ability to subjectively perceive the environment, and experience pain and suffering or pleasure and comfort.
A philosopher who argued that anything that could be used to justify treating humans differently from animals could also be used to justify treating some humans differently from other humans, and that since we are committed to treating all humans equally, it would be hypocritical and irrational not to treat animals as having equal moral status to humans.
A form of discrimination against non-human animals, stemming from the presumption that human beings are superior to other species.
An ethical theory stating that the best action is the one that maximizes utility for the majority.
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