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The Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series

Killing Happy Animals: Explorations in Utilitarian Ethics

Authors: Višak, Tatjana

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About this book

Is it acceptable to kill an animal that has been granted a pleasant life? This book rigorously explores the moral basis of the ideal of animal-friendly animal husbandry and sheds new light on utilitarian moral theory by pointing out the assumptions and implications of two different versions of utilitarianism, with surprising conclusions.

About the authors

Tatjana Višak is a lecturer at the Centre for Human Bioethics at Monash University, Australia. Previously she has worked as a lecturer/researcher in ethics at various Dutch universities. Her special interests are Animal Ethics, Bioethics, Utilitarianism and Value Theory.

Reviews

"In Killing Happy Animals, Tatjana Visak probes a question that is crucial to the ethical evaluation of eating meat: whether bringing animals into existence benefits them, and can compensate for killing other animals. Those who believe it justifiable to kill one happy animal if it will be replaced by another will be challenged by Visak's clearly argued case against this view. This book makes a major contribution to a philosophical debate with important practical implications." - Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University

"Our relationships with other animals are extremely challenging and all too often contradictory. For example, the broadly accepted moral ideal of animal-friendly animal husbandry holds that it is okay to keep and routinely kill animals for food, provided that they are granted "pleasant" lives. Along these lines, Tatjana Visak asks, 'How can it be justified that we are not allowed to kick them, while we are allowed to kill them?' Is animal-friendly animal husbandry a contradiction in terms? In Killing Happy Animals Visak explores possible answers to this pressing question. She provides necessary resources for re-thinking animal ethics, public policy, and our daily consumption of other animals. This timely book is highly recommended for those who are willing to re-think ethics and our relationship to other animals." - Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado, USA

"It is increasingly the conventional wisdom among right-minded people that it is permissible to eat meat so long as the animals have happy lives and are painlessly slaughtered. Tatjana Visak digs deep into the utilitarian foundations of this comfortable philosophy and concludes that it is wrong: most of us are morally obliged to live a vegan life-style. Visak's arguments must be confronted by anyone who claims to be a conscientious consumer." - Prof. Dale Jamieson, Director of Center for Bioethics, New York University, USA


Table of contents (10 chapters)

Table of contents (10 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 1-17

    Višak, Tatjana

  • Utilitarianism and Animal Husbandry

    Pages 18-33

    Višak, Tatjana

  • Animals and the Harm of Death

    Pages 34-45

    Višak, Tatjana

  • The Replaceability Argument

    Pages 46-70

    Višak, Tatjana

  • Total View versus Prior Existence View

    Pages 71-78

    Višak, Tatjana

Buy this book

eBook $64.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-28627-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-28626-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $84.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-44925-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Killing Happy Animals: Explorations in Utilitarian Ethics
Authors
Series Title
The Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-28627-7
DOI
10.1057/9781137286277
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-28626-0
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-44925-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 188
Topics