Tom Regan on Animal Rights • Calls for: • no use of animals in science • total dissolution of animal agriculture • total elimination of commercial and sport hunting and trapping
Regan rejects indirect approaches to grounding moral duties toward animals: For example • It’s wrong to harm animals because people care about them • It’s wrong to harm animals when they are people’s property • Harming animals makes you likely to harm humans
Direct Duty Approaches Direct duty approaches: 1. The cruelty-kindness view. • Problem: Not all kind acts = right; I can be kind to members of my own race, as a racist. • Problem: Absence of cruelty (enjoying the causing of pain) does not settle moral issues. 2. Utilitarianism. • Problem = utilitarianism has no room for the equal moral rights of different individuals because it has no room for their equal inherent value. According to it, individuals = mere vessels in which pleasure and pain take place.
The rights view ( = Regan’s view) • All creatures who are “experiencing subjects-of-a-life” have inherent value. • All possessors of inherent value have equal inherent value • Nothing with inherent value should be treated as a mere means, a mere resource for us. (This rules out experimenting on animals, farming, and hunting.) Regan uses the Argument from Marginal Cases against those who emphasize intelligence, reason, etc.