"World Poverty, Animal Minds and the Ethics of Veterinary Expenditure"

Hadley, John, and Siobhan O'Sullivan | from Multimedia Library Collection:
Environmental Values (journal)

Hadley, John, and Siobhan O’Sullivan. “World Poverty, Animal Minds and the Ethics of Veterinary Expenditure.” Environmental Values 18, no. 3 (2009): 361–78. doi: 10.3197/096327109X12474739376578. Republished by the Environment & Society Portal, Multimedia Library. http://www.environmentandsociety.org/node/7506.

In this paper we make an argument for limiting veterinary expenditure on companion animals. The argument combines two principles: the obligation to give and the self-consciousness requirement. In line with the former, we ought to give money to organisations helping to alleviate preventable suffering and death in developing countries; the latter states that it is only intrinsically wrong to painlessly kill an individual that is self-conscious. Combined, the two principles inform an argument along the following lines: rather than spending inordinate amounts of money on veterinary care when a companion animal is sick or injured, it is better to give the money to an aid organisation and painlessly kill the animal.

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