Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Monday, December 7, 2015

Zoopolis, Loose Ends, Final

  • I need a hard copy of your final draft PLUS your rough draft 
  • Also turn in paper at Blackboard.
  • Philosophy Club event tonight

  • How can animal citizens contribute to society without being exploited?

  • Tuesday December 15, 11:30 - 2:30 (Hyer 204)
  • Just like the previous two exams, but more time
  • Questions will be here at the blog in a few days
  • Lectures at blog, apart from Zoopolis powerpoint
  1. Animal research and testing; regulation of animal research (Kazez, Brody)
  2. Genetic engineering: creating animals without affective aspect of pain (Shriver)
  3. Trophy Hunting, pro and con (Kheel, Gunn)
  4. Pets, pro and con; killing and sterilizing (Lorenz, Shepard, Palmer)
  5. Legal status of animals; animal plaintiffs (Sunstein)
  6. Zoopolis--three political categories (Donaldson and Kymlicka)


  • Submit paper to Blackboard by Monday at NOON.
  • Also submit hard copy in class on Monday.
  • You MUST attach the rough draft plus comments.
  • We will discuss loose ends and review for the final.

  1. What are the three political categories Donaldson and Kymlicka use for categorizing animals?
  2. For each political category, give an example of a species D&K place in that category.
  3. For each animal species, give an example of a right the animal has or lacks because of belonging to that political category (according to D&K).


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Animal lawsuits/Zoopolis


Tether Laws


  • Sunstein's proposal: let animals sue in civil courts, making them the plaintiffs
  • currently animals don't have the legal standing to sue
  • overcomes problem of police and prosecutors failing to enforce existing animal protection laws
  • animal plaintiffs would have to have human representatives
  • outcomes: court orders compliance with law or compensation or both
  • Sunstein: no need to change status of animals from property to persons
  • owners could react to lawsuits by destroying their animal property!
  • other objections?

  • Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka, Zoopolis
  • A utopian vision, like Plato's Republic
  • can use some elements even if the whole thing is off in the future


  • What legal rights should animals have?
  • NEGATIVE RIGHTS--right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness
  • Donaldson and Kymlicka agree with Tom Regan--all animals have basic rights 
  • But it's not enough to just leave animals alone!
  • What more do we owe to animals?  What POSITIVE RIGHTS do they have?

  • NEGATIVE RIGHTS--all the same, don't depend on these categories
  • POSITIVE RIGHTS -- claims they have on us; vary, do depend on these categories
  • Citizens--(a) have secure right of residence and access to public spaces, (b) are those for whose sake the state governs, (c) are those who participate in political process
  • Denizens (or "liminal denizens")--same negative rights as citizens, but weaker positive rights
  • liminal--"
    occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold";  denizen--"one that frequents a place" 
  • Foreigners (in other countries)--same negative rights as citizens and denizens, but even weaker positive rights (claims on us)
  • Animal citizens--pets, other domesticated animals--citizens because we've made them dependent on us and they have no other form of existence;  compare Francione, who thinks we should stop exploiting and let them go extinct
  • Animal denizens--squirrels, rats, birds, raccoons, ducks, etc.--animals on the periphery of human communities (next time)
  • Animal foreigners--wild animals, completely independent (next time)
  • NEGATIVE RIGHTS--right to life and liberty
  • no hunting, no killing for food, no harmful research and testing
  • a world very different from ours!
  • a new idea, not in Regan, Francione, or other rights authors
  • what are their POSITIVE RIGHTS?
  • they have a right to be here--so no killing in shelters, sterilizing is questionable
  • they have a right to be in public spaces (Paris vs. Dallas)

  • pets should be socialized
  • access to medical care 
  • animal citizens won't vote (like children)
  • animal citizens should contribute to society, but no exploitation

  • non-exploitative:  contribute manure, sheep grazing a field, backyard chickens for eggs, sheep for wool if shorn humanely  (other rights authors: must be exploitative because they can't consent)
  • exploitative:  most farming and research; using animals as seeing eye dogs and other assistance animals

  • What will be their positive rights in this utopia?
  • Read the rest of the article and find out (in WEB)

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Legal Status of Animals

  1. What the legal status of animals is (in the US today)
  2. What the legal status of animals should be (soon)
  3. What the legal status of animals could be (ideally)
A CASE-- dog tied up for 3 years

  1. Persons vs. property
  2. Strong rights (shield against being used by others) vs. weak rights (protections)
  3. Positive rights (right to be given X) vs. negative rights (freedom from...)
  4. Moral rights vs. legal rights
  5. Criminal courts (government plaintiff) vs. civil courts (private plaintiff)

(1) Animal Welfare Act (federal)
  • Covers: certain animals that are 1) used in medical research, 2) exhibited in circus and zoos, 3) transported commercially, 4) bred for sale, etc.
  • Not covered: 1) farm animals, 2) cold-blooded animals, 3) rats and mice, birds, 4) retail pet stores, etc.
(2) Farm animal laws (federal)
(3) Endangered Species Act (federal)
(4) State Animal Cruelty Laws
Other States
  1. Persons vs. property
  2. Strong rights (shield against being used by others) vs. weak rights (protections)
  3. Positive rights (right to be given X) vs. negative rights (freedom from...)
  4. Moral rights vs. legal rights
  5. Criminal courts (government plaintiff) vs. civil courts (private plaintiff)
  • Problem:  animals only protected under laws if government enforces them; people can also use civil courts to protect their rights
  • Indirect lawsuits:  neighbors could sue dog owner for aesthetic injury
  • More indirect lawsuits:  competitors could sue cruel business for competitive injury
  • Direct lawsuit: dog sues owner
  • The process: explained here
  • Animals will have human representatives, like babies and mentally impaired people
  • In civil court, standard is lower:  preponderance of evidence vs. beyond a reasonable doubt
  • Plaintiff can ask court to require defendant to fulfill duty or pay compensation
  • Persons, not property (Gary Francione, Steven Wise)
  • Persons don't have to be human (corporations are legal persons; aliens?)
  • Sunstein: we don't need to go this far to protect animals
  • Animals can be both property and well-protected
  • But we do need to let animals be plaintiffs in civil courts 

  1.  Wednesday--read pp. 122-133
  2. Friday--read pp. 133-137

Monday, November 23, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hunting and Character

Follow-up stories


  • Survival hunting -- we will die if we don't kill animals
  • Subsistence/cultural hunting (e.g. Eskimo whale hunting--a "way of life")
  • Traditional sport hunting (e.g. deer hunting in forests of Pennsylvania)
  • Canned hunting (e.g. Texas hunting ranches, also canned lion hunting in Africa)
  • Virtual hunting (controlling gun using remote computer)
  • Wilderness trophy hunting (e.g. Alaska, Africa)
  • others

  1. Making a moral assessment of hunters and hunting
  2. Making a legal assessment--should any kind of hunting be prohibited?

  1. The act--right or wrong?
  2. The agent--good character, bad character?
  1. On individual animal killed
  2. On species (abundant or endangered?)
  3. On ecosystem
  4. On self and others 
  • Marti Kheel, "The Killing Game: An Ecofeminist Critique of Hunting"
  • 3 types of hunters
  • The Happy Hunter: people who hunt for psychological benefits--relaxation, manliness, closeness to nature, sense of fairness
  • The Holist Hunter: see themselves as wildlife managers--culling excess animals, improving ecosystems.  Objection: hunters kill biggest, healthiest animals; they may eliminate predators like wolves.
  • The Holy Hunter: hunt for spiritual benefits--reference, respect, "hunting is a sacrament" (Holmes Rolston); hunter achieves "mystical union with the animal" (Ortega y Gasset) (quotes on p. 458); they like to appropriate native American ideas like the idea that the animal gives himself as a gift to the hunter.
  • Kheel's objection (1): men killing in attempt to feel manly (note: 11% of US hunters are women)
  • Kheel's objection (2):  can an activity really be a sport if it involves an involuntary participant? 
  • Alastair Gunn, "Environmental Ethics and Trophy Hunting"
  • Trophy hunting in Africa: is it actually good for animals?


  • The Rhino Hunter (radio)  -- In class we'll listen to first 20 minutes. Listen to the rest please!  (Can turn in a page of notes to drop a quiz grade IF you didn't turn in Pippin notes.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Which topics are discussed in the reading for today (Palmer)?  Write YES or NO.
  1. killing in animal shelters
  2. Tom Regan's view of killing
  3. feral animals
  4. declawing cats and clipping dogs' tails
  5. de-sexing pets
  6. domestication
  7. using shelter animals in research
  8. pet overpopulation
  9. having exotic animals as pets
  10. Aristotle's view of tame animals

Debate #5

SMU feral cat colony

Canada's laws making pets non-property (thanks for the links!)





Monday, November 16, 2015

Pets Pro and Con

  • will return exams at end of class; grading rubrics are at tab
  • Spring registration--upper level ethics classes--becoming an ethics minor (handout)
  • rough draft of paper due Friday 11/20 (I need hard copy in class PLUS upload to Blackboard)
  • read paper instructions carefully and go to plagiarism tab as well
  • we will have 2-3 more quizzes
  • for next Monday (11/23) please listen to this radio program:  The Rhino Hunter
  • debate #6 team must cover that material in their debate on 11/23
  • extra credit: if you didn't turn in notes on Dr. Pippin's talk, you can turn in a page of notes on The Rhino Hunter.  Due Monday (11/23)
  • need debate #6 resolution by midnight
  • debate #5 on Wednesday:  killing "surplus animals" in animal shelters
 (1) Against the whole practice of having pets (Gary Francione)
  • Professor at Rutgers University law school--"the abolitionist approach"--Radio Interview--Website
  • Francione: "animals don't belong in our world"..."netherworld of vulnerability"..."totally dependent on me for their entire lives"..."they usually exhibit various neuroses..."we fetishize them"..."I don't think the institution overall benefits these animals we call pets"
(2)  Another author against the whole practice of having pets (Shepard--reading for today)
  • Act I: outer circle of wild animals.  
  • Act II: "people took certain animals into captivity, manipulated their reproduction, and altered their biological natures to conform to human dominance, reconstructing them as members of the household."
  • Act III: Children have "transitional objects"--stuffed animals.
  • Act IV: affection for stuffed animals is transferred to pets.  Ralph Lauren Pet Couture
  • Act V: way of seeing pets and stuffed animals projected onto wild animals, including both zoo animals and animals in the wild.
(3) Were pets really enslaved? How were dogs domesticated?
(4)  Defense of human-pet relationship
  • Konrad Lorenz (ethologist)--dogs love us more than we love them
  • can be mutually respectful and caring
(5)  Assuming the basic institution is defensible, what about these specific practices?
  • deliberate dog breeding -- video 
  • Surgery to make the breed look "right"--e.g. clipping tails and ears
  •  Image result for jack russell
  • making animals manageable: declawing cats
  • making animals manageable: sterilizing indoor cats
  • protecting animals:  keeping cats indoors
  • controlling pet over-population: "euthanizing" animals in animal shelters

Friday, November 13, 2015

Zombie Animal Debate

Interview with Shriver

  • We will have 2-3 more quizzes before the end of the semester.  Keep up with the readings.
  • The paper assignment is at the tab.  We'll discuss on Monday.
  • Second extra credit option. I'll announce that soon.
  • Philosophy talk today (below).

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Frontiers of Genetic Engineering

  • Paper assignment at tab

Genetic Engineering (GE) vs. Animal Breeding
  • Breeding: Labrador retriever mates with poodle --> labradoodle  (human intervention not needed)
  • GE:  spider genes added to goat genome --> goat-spider (first one made in lab, next generation via regular reproduction)
  • How GE works:  FDA Q&A
GE and our food supply
  •  Plants:  ~90% of food in supermarket contains some GE plant ingredients
  •  Animals:  GE animals have been created, but none have been approved as food yet
Can GE make animal-consumption ethically better?
  • cow-roo--cattle that produce less methane, so contribute less to global warming
  • enviro-pig--pigs with less polluting excrement, so do less damage to environment 
  • livestock that don't suffer during life or slaughter--Shriver's idea, not a reality yet
Or is GE problematic?
  • Always wrong because unnatural?  Always wrong because "playing god"? Always wrong because _________ ?
  • Sometimes permissible, sometimes wrong:  Rollins's Principle of Conservation of Welfare (TAER):  GE permissible when next generation is no worse off than previous generation

Adam Shriver, "Knocking Out Pain in Livestock:  Can Technology Succeed Where Morality has Stalled?"
Why think morality has stalled?
  • only minor improvements to factory farming and slaughter
  • very few vegans (1-3%)
  • further evidence (not in Shriver) impact of ethics classes: changing minds vs. changing behavior (Schwitzgebel)

Shriver aims to show
  1. "genetically engineering livestock [without pain] will produce a world with better consequences" (utilitarian approach)
  2. "doing so will not introduce any new 'wrongs' into the world that will be offensive to other ethical theories" (besides utilitarianism)
The nature of pain
  1. sensory component (localization and quality--sharp, dull, burning, etc.)
  2. affective component (the "hurt")

Evidence for separateness of sensory and affective components
  1. lesions to ACC leave human patients with sensory pain; lesions to S1&S2 leave them with affective pain
  2. morphine (which affects ACC more) leaves human patients with sensory pain
  3. behavior of rats after ACC ablation: they seem to lose affective pain but retain sensory pain (see below)

Proposal: use GE to create animals with no ACC, but with intact S1&S2
  • peptide P311 controls formation of ACC
  • knockout mice without P311 behaved like the rats after ACC ablation
  • "P311 is likely to play a similar role in all mammals" (p. 118)
  • the knockout mice could survive...in their cages
  • knockout livestock would survive...in their limited environment
  • "This would be a good model for sows or veal calves who spend most of their lives confined in small pens where they can't do much of anything that wuld injure or otherwise harm themselves." (p. 119)
  • "ablation of the anterior cingulate causes mother mammals to stop responding to the cries of their young" (p. 119) -- so would relieve suffering caused by separation
Now for the argument (p. 119)--

  • Debate about Shriver
  • Same article is assigned again for Friday
  • Pay attention to pages 120-123 (the possible objections he considers)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

How to Regulate Animal Research

Extra credit
  • Dr. Pippin speaks 6:30-7:30 Tuesday (Nov. 10), Hughes Trigg Portico B-C-D.
  • For extra credit, turn in one page of notes about the talk on Wednesday Nov. 11.  We'll discuss.
  • I can't be present, but have heard this talk before!  It should be interesting.
Issues from Ms. Lunt's talk
  1. Rats and mice--not "animals" under the AWA, but SMU still has IACUC, applies "The Guide," etc.--Annual Report form
  2. Private labs--Ms. Lunt said not directly covered, but indirectly covered to some extent.  For more info see AWA website and The AWA (complete) (excerpt below).  More evidence:  Humane Society data on research in every state (look up Texas!)  Also see this Dallas Observer article about private animal labs.
    pg. 11
  3. State animal cruelty laws--do they cover research?  Info Animal Law Website (III. D); Texas Animal Cruelty Law
  4. Primates--(a) monkeys, (b) the great apes (chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas)--NIH retiring most of its chimpanzees (all but 50 out of 360)--here
  5. Europe vs. US -- comes up in today's reading
Baruch Brody, "Defending Animal Research: An International Perspective"

Compromise Position (pro-research plus concern for animals) (pg. 317-318)
(1)  "Animals have interests"
(2)  "adverse effect on animals' interests is morally relevant, and must be taken into account...."
(3)   Harm to animals justified by benefits to humans
(4)   Human interests should be given greater significance

US approach under AWA--
  • 3R program--replace, reduce, refine
  • Lexical priority (like all the As come before any of the Bs in a dictionary)
  • all human interests should be satisfied before any animal interests
  • read pg. 319 
  • research for sheer curiosity, research for cosmetic procedures, testing botox
European approach (Brody supports)
  • Discounting plus balance
  • Balance part: is this human benefit serious and essential enough to justify this animal harm?
  • Discounting part:  animal interests taken into consideration at a discount
  • Example:  in the European Union animals can't be used for cosmetic research
  • Animal-tested cosmetics can't be sold anywhere in European Union
Third option--reject (4)--e.g.  Peter Singer, principle of equality
  • Why Brody rejects the principle of equality
  • Animals vs. humans; strangers vs. familiars (read p. 323)
  • Partiality toward fellow citizens, fellow believers, fellow members of an ethnic group
  • Problem: why is speciesism like innocent partiality, not like racism or sexism? 

Friday, November 6, 2015


Today we welcome Shannon Lunt, Director of Research Compliance at SMU.

Talks today in the Philosophy Department
  • Eric Barnes (SMU) "Character Control and Moral Responsibility" -- 1:00 - 3:00 -- Florence Hall Rm 201
  • Kelly McCormick (TCU) "A Dilemma for Morally Responsible Time Travellers" -- 3:30 - 5:30 -- Florence Hall Rm 201

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Coming Up

  • Friday November 6--guest speaker Shannon Lunt will talk about the SMU compliance office's oversight of animal research at SMU
  • DATE CHANGE!  Tuesday November 10 6:30-7:30 Hughes-Trigg Portico B-C-D--public talk given at SMU by Dr. John Pippin.  Dr. Pippin is chair of academic research for Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine.  He's a cardiologist and former animal researcher who will make the case that animal research is useless.  Please plan on attending for extra credit.
  • Friday November 13--Debate 4
  • Quiz next Wednesday on the debate reading


Topics covered in today's reading include (true or false)--
  1. The research on monkeys that led to development of the polio vaccine
  2. Peter Carruthers' argument that animals have no rights
  3. Research on monkeys done by Harry Harlow to study the nature of infant attachment to mothers
  4. The way animal researchers treat their children
  5. Instituttional Animal Care and Use Committees
  6. Circumcision research involving rats
  7. The Animal Welfare Act
  8. Tom Regan's argument that all animal research should stop
  9. What you might see in a typical animal lab 
  10. Retirement homes for lab chimpanzees

The Animal Research Debate

My book Animalkind: What We Owe to Animals

  1. Mr Caveman--killing for survival is permissible--disrespectful to self and family to submit to starvation and death
  2. Research for similar serious purposes is permissible
  3. Should ask: is this research necessary?  (A) Are we pursuing a serious benefit for humans?  (B) Is this the least harmful way to secure the benefit? 
  4. Respect on a sliding scale--better to use mice than chimpanzees.
Background: some types of uses of animals
  • biomedical research--basic research, research into diseases
  • drug and product testing
  • psychology research
  • veterinary research
  • animal psychology research
  • AWA covered animals sued in animal labs in 2001: 1.25 million
  • rats and mice used in animal labs in 2001: 80 million
  • animals used for product and drug testing per year: 10-20 million
  • for sources see Animalkind (p. 149-50)
  • animals killed for food every year in the US: 10 billion
Examples: the good....(?)
  • 57,000 cases of polio in 1952; 3,000 died; 21,000 left with some paralysis; 100,000 monkeys killed in research; no benefit for monkeys; for typing study, they were infected by drilling hole in head; after vaccine developed, tested on monkeys; after monkeys, disabled kids in "homes".
  • Medical progress due to animal research (according to advocates)  
  • Research Facility Tour (pro)
Examples: the bad and the ugly .... (?)
  • Harry Harlow - video (Animalkind pp. 142-46)  Variations on a theme (p. 143).  Well of despair studies (p. 145).
  • Was it necessary?  Orphanage studies. (A) Are we pursuing a serious benefit for humans?  (B) Is this the least harmful way to secure the benefit?  
  • Research Facility Tour (PETA undercover video)

How is animal research regulated?  The Animal Welfare Act


1966 -Sports Illustrated and Life Magazine articles lead to AWA
  • main point of AWA is to prevent lost pets being used in animal labs
  • requires adequate food and housing

1970 - Amendments address animal pain.
  • Anesthetics have to be used during surgery
  • analgesics have to be offered for pain relief.
  • More venues covered (circuses and zoos, but not pet stores, pet shows, and rodeos)
1985 - Amendments spurred by exposes of animal labs
  • Provisions for institutional animal care committees (IACUCs)
  • dogs must have exercise, primates must have psychological enrichment
Silver Spring Maryland - Dr Edward Taub severs nerves to arms to study nervous system healing - PETA co-founder Alex Pacheco takes undercover position and films - testifies in 1981 hearings

University of Pennsylania - Head injury lab - baboons had their heads crushed in crash simulator - 64 hours of film obtained during raid by Animal Liberation Front - PETA produces film

2002, 2007, 2008 - more amendments

  • "animal" explicitly defined so that rats, mice, birds, and reptiles are not covered 
  • prohibition on animal fighting  
Today's Animal Welfare Act - Highlights (follow link)

AWA website
Overview at Wikipedia 

Questions about IACUCs (institutional animal care and use committees)
  • Are they really ethics committees? (see John Young in research facility video)
  • How do they compare to human subject review committees? 
  • How are animals protected, compared to children?
  • Do IACUCs judge balance between animal costs and human benefits? 
  • Do IACUCs ever veto experiments on ethical grounds?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Coming up

  • Wednesday November 4--in preparation for Friday's guest speaker we may have a quiz on Wednesday's reading assignment
  • Friday November 6--guest speaker Shannon Hunt will talk about the SMU compliance office's oversight of animal research at SMU
  • DATE CHANGE!  Tuesday November 10 6:30-7:30 Hughes-Trigg Portico B-C-D--public talk given at SMU by Dr. John Pippin.  Dr. Pippin is chair of academic research for Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine.  He's a cardiologist and former animal researcher who will make the case that animal research is useless.  Please plan on attending for extra credit.
  • Friday November 13--Debate 4

Friday, October 30, 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Humane Farming Defense (#4)

Today's lecture is here, not in the powerpoint.  Continue below the fold.