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Introducing Political PhilosophyA Policy-Driven Approach

Introducing Political Philosophy: A Policy-Driven Approach (1st edn)

Andrew Walton, William Abel, Elizabeth Kahn, and Tom Parr
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date: 29 September 2023

p. 17212. Intensive Animal Farming and Moral Statuslocked

p. 17212. Intensive Animal Farming and Moral Statuslocked

  • William Abel,
  • Elizabeth Kahn,
  • Tom Parr
  •  and Andrew Walton


This chapter studies which principles should govern the state’s regulation of the treatment of non-human animals raised for human consumption. It defends the claim that it is wrong to inflict pain on or to kill animals, and that the state should prohibit intensive animal farming on these bases. The chapter then considers the objection that there is no moral duty to act in this way because animals are not part of the relevant community of moral concern. It demonstrates that it is implausible to restrict the scope of moral duties in this way. Finally, the chapter explores the claim that it would be wrong for the state to enforce compliance with these duties, but it contends that limiting the state’s role in this way leads to various implausible conclusions regarding how it should regulate the treatment of both animals and humans.

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