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Speaking of Animals

  • Philip J. SampsonEmail author
Chapter
  • 140 Downloads
Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series book series (PMAES)

Abstract

The human use of animals generates ethical debates which draw on the range of linguistic resources available in the prevailing culture. These resources facilitate the expression of a particular field of ethical choices, but make it difficult to publicly move outside this domain. For example, discussion about how we should treat ‘pets’ draws upon a language usually reserved for humans, especially children within families. Such language makes it natural to claim that beating or starving Fido is cruel, and that cruelty is ethically reprehensible. Despite the many similarities between ‘pets’ and food animals, most people segregate this language from that used of pigs and chickens. The discourse of ‘food’ animals authorises a range of moral choices which would be ‘cruel’, even illegal, in the case of ‘pets’.

Keywords

Linguistic Resources Animals Turn boundaryBoundary Human Keepers Sunday Lunch 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oxford Centre for Animal EthicsOxfordUK

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