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World Poverty, Animal Minds and the Ethics of Veterinary Expenditure

Author

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  • John Hadley
  • Siobhan O'Sullivan

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • John Hadley & Siobhan O'Sullivan, 2009. "World Poverty, Animal Minds and the Ethics of Veterinary Expenditure," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 18(3), pages 361-378, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev18:ev1815
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pet keeping; giving to charity; utilitarianism; Singer; Shallow Pond;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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