Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Zoos and Aquariums (see presentation blog)

Some extra materials

Giraffe Cam

The Animal Welfare Act (here) does cover zoos, but only covers warm-blooded animals--no reptiles, fish,  or birds.  So most of the animals at the Dallas World Aquarium are not covered and many of the animals at the Dallas Zoo are not covered. The latest inspection reports are here.  See p. 184-195 for DWA.  See p. 423-436 for the Dallas Zoo.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Carbone--The Utility of Basic Animal Research

Questions for today
  1. Is Engel right about the uselessness of animal research?
  2. Is he right that animal research can be replaced by computer models, in vitro research using human tissue, stem cell research, etc.?
  3. If animal research is useful (contrary to what Engel claims), is it ethical?  
Larry Carbone (lab vet at UCSF)
  1. Veterinarians extrapolate from one species to another all the time....successfully
  2. Evolutionary biology supports extrapolation
  3. Carbone is only addressing utility, not morality
  4. Biomedical research is probabilistic--doesn't provide certainty
  5. What we already know about different species helps researchers choose the best animal model
  6. When there are failures of extrapolation, animal researchers study them and learn from them
  7. There are also failures of extrapolation from other types of research--in vitro, computer models, epidemiology, using human volunteers, etc.
Example of extrapolation

Courtine et al., "Can experiments in nonhuman primates expedite the translation of treatments for spinal cord injury in humans?"

NYT article
More video about Gregoire Courtine's lab

Suppose it's useful.  Is it also ethical?

  1. Regan: no
  2. Donaldson & Kymlicka: no
  3. Singer: maybe 
  4. Gruen: unclear
  5. Carruthers, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant: yes
  6. What do you think?
IF animal research can be useful and can be ethical, should it be more tightly regulated?

(1) Balance criterion (my chapter plus other authors):  harm to animals should be "necessary" in the sense that (A) harm to animals is in balance with desired benefit to humans, and (B) no way to achieve same benefit with less harm.
  • cosmetic research
  • Harry Harlow's research
  • Jonas Salk's research
  • Gregoire Courtine's research using rats, using monkeys
(2) Animal Welfare Act (US):  harm to animals should be "necessary" in a weaker sense than above.  (A) Any benefit to humans is worth pursuing through animal research (no demand for balance), but (B) researchers should impose no more harm than necessary to achieve that benefit, whatever it is.  Enforced through regulation, local animal care committees, inspections.

  • cosmetic research
  • Harry Harlow's research
  • Jonas Salk's research
  • Gregoire Courtine's research using rats, using monkeys

(3) European approach, differences:  Balance criterion (see #39, here).  Committees making the judgments are national and non-local (see #39 and #48).  No animal testing for cosmetic purposes; no sales of cosmetics tested on animals (see here).

  • cosmetic research
  • Harry Harlow's research
  • Jonas Salk's research
  • Gregoire Courtine's research using rats, using monkeys

P. S. Trump administration has weakened AWA with black-out of AWA inspection reports.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Engel--the Commonsense Case Against Animal Research

Engel article, annotated

The "no extrapolation" argument against animal research

(1) It's wrong to perform animal experiments that are harmful or painful or lethal for no good reason.
(2) Animal experiments that are harmful, painful, or lethal are always performed for no good reason (they provide no valuable information).

(3) It is wrong to perform these animal experiments.

What animal experiments does Engel discuss?  He says "biomedical research" but he only talks about drug testing.

His argument that animal experiments (involved in drug testing) provide no valuable information:

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Animal Research

  • More reading suggestions for vet group under "presentation readings"
  • Make-up quizzes--We've had one, but we need a few more for a few people.
  • New solution-- there will be make-up quiz questions on the final just for those people.
  • They will be exactly like regular quizzes--they will ask one of the reading questions about one of the readings (assigned after March 9).
  • Prior to the final, I will let you know by email how many you are entitled to answer.

  • Today, the  background facts
  • Tuesday, the arguments pro and con
Background: some types of uses of animals
  1. biomedical research--using animals to learn about human body, diseases, treatments
  2. drug, household product, and cosmetics testing--using animals to determine safety for the benefit of humans
  3. psychology research--doing research on animals to learn about human psychology
  4. veterinary research--doing research on animals to benefit animals
  5. animal psychology research--doing research on animals to learn about animal minds....but to satisfy human desire for knowledge
The Animal Welfare Act
  • regulates research on some species in most labs (more on AWA below)
  • AWA-covered animals used in animal labs in 2001: 1.25 million
  • rats and mice (not AWA-covered) used in animal labs in 2001: 80 million
  • animals used for product and drug testing per year: 10-20 million
  • animals killed for food every year in the US: 10 billion
Animal research - negative (?) examples
Animal research - positive (?) examples
Testing of drugs, household products, cosmetics
  • FDA requires animal testing of drugs
  • household products and cosmetics are tested on animals at the discretion of companies
  • Draize test


Primary US laws that protect animals

  • state animal cruelty laws (labs are exempt, animal farming is exempt)
  • Humane Slaughter Act--applies to slaughter of large mammals
  • Animal Welfare Act 
    • applies to research animals, not not all species, and not federal labs
    • applies to circuses, zoos, aquaria, but not rodeos
    • applies to transport of farm animals, but not farms
    • applies to large breeders, but not to retail outlets or animal shelters


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 congressional 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

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?

Thursday, March 30, 2017


Make-up quizzes

  • You can take a make-up quiz if you missed a quiz because of a) an extracurricular activity, b) some other unavoidable problem such as illness, a family emergency, or a job interview, c) a pre-approved religious holiday.  You need to explain such absences and be prepared to document them.
  • Make-up quizzes will be just like other quizzes and will also be given on a "surprise" basis.  When the dice do not indicate a quiz, I may declare a make-up quiz.
  • NEW POLICY, see 4/6 post
  • Some of you have said you prefer to make a powerpoint rather than create a post in blogger.  That's OK, but please create a link to your powerpoint in blogger.  
  • Your presentation post/powerpoint will be on the screen during your presentation. It should help you do your presentation and should help your audience follow your presentation.
  • You need to have pictures!  Take pictures at your site or if that doesn't make sense, then get them online.  Take videos too--e.g. videos from the rodeo, the aquarium, or the zoo, could be very pertinent to your presentation.  If you put them online we should be able to create links at the presentation blog.  Tests your links!
  • READ the instructions about the presentation!  They are at the tab above.

  • Look at Canvas so you know all the involvement requirements and the extra credit opportunities.  
  • Today's opportunity is a talk in McCord auditorium at 4:00. It's a student-oriented talk on aesthetic responsibility by the well-known philosopher Susan Wolf.


Adam Shriver, "Knocking Out Pain in Livestock:  Can Technology Succeed Where Morality has Stalled?" (2009)

"....Where Morality has Stalled"--why does he think morality has stalled?
  • more vegans and vegetarians
  • more reforms
  • but higher per capita meat consumption (190 lbs/person --> 222 lbs/person)
  • population increase
  • further evidence (not in Shriver): changing minds vs. changing behavior (Schwitzgebel)

    Shriver aims to show (p. 178, second column, toward end)
    1. "genetically engineering livestock [that can't suffer 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)


    Genetic Engineering (GE) vs. Animal Breeding
    • Breeding: Labrador retriever mates with poodle --> labradoodle  
    • 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, one has been approved for food:  GE Salmon
    Other proposals as to how GE can make animal-consumption ethically better
    • cow-roo--cattle that produce less methane, so contribute less to global warming
    • enviro-pig--pigs that produce less polluting excrement, so do less damage to environment 
    • idea discussed (critically) by Gruen--could engineer animals so they have very short lifespans; thus, when they're killed they're not deprived of future life

    1. sensory component (localization and quality--sharp, dull, burning, etc.)
    2. affective component (the hurting and suffering)

    Evidence for separateness of sensory and affective components
    1. researchers found that lesions to ACC left human patients with sensory pain, but less affective pain
    2. researchers found that lesions to S1& S2 left them with affective pain, but less sensory pain
    3. morphine, which affects ACC more, leaves human patients with sensory pain
    4. 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. 180)
    • 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 would injure or otherwise harm themselves." (p. 181, first column, top)
    • "ablation of the anterior cingulate causes mother mammals to stop responding to the cries of their young" (p. 181, first column, middle) -- so would relieve suffering caused by separation

    Now for the argument for doing this (p. 119)--

    1. Objection: Knockout animals will acquire more bruises, so will be un-marketable. Reply:  the animals will still feel pain, so will engage in normal pain-guarding and other behaviors.
    2. Objection: GE animals are unnatural.  Reply: farmed animals are already unnatural because of breeding
    3. Objection:  people will be "more careless or cruel in their interactions with the animals" (p. 184, left column, top).  Reply: not clear

    Tuesday, March 28, 2017

    Humane Farming

    Before we state the Humane Farming Defense, we need more background.  How humane is humane?

    I. Standard factory farming
    II. Factory farming with reforms
    III. More humane farming
    IV. Nearly ideal humane farming
    V. Plant farming


    Caged Laying Hens

    Gestation crates (Humane Society)
    Farrowing Crate



    Whole Foods' 5 Step System



    Free range, not just cage free



    Pollan and Davis


    Extra Credit Involvement

    Attend talk on March 30 (see below)--5 extra credit involvement points--upload one page of notes or turn in by April 4

    Attend a Rodeo by April 4--5 extra credit involvement points--upload recent receipt or turn in on April 4

    Go to Zoo or Aquarium by April 18--5 extra credit involvement points--upload recent receipt or turn in on April 18

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

    The argument for veganism: Norcross

    Norcross Powerpoint

    Norcross article

    Animals As Food


    • April 4, hunting and rodeo presentations
    • March 28--your blog post and proof of visit is due


    Is it ethical to use animals as food?
    1. No, we should be vegans--(a) authors we've already studied (who?), (b) Norcross
    2. Yes, it can be ethical--(a) authors we've already studied (who?), (b) 4 defenses (Frey, George, Davis, Pollan)
    3. It would be more ethical after genetic engineering (Shriver)
    Fact Gathering First  
    1. Impact--on animals, on environment 
    2. Nutrition--can a vegan diet be healthy?
    3. Taste--does a vegan diet taste good?
    IMPACT--on animals, on environment
      Numbers (source)
      • About 10 billion land animals die annually in food production in the US
      • 218 million are killed by hunters, in animal shelters, research, product testing, dissection, and fur farms (2% of total killed)
      Types of Animal Farming (discuss #1 and #2 today, 3-5 later on)
      1. Factory farming (vast majority of US farming)
      2. Reformed factory farming 
      3. Boutique humane farming
      4. Perfectly painless farming
      5. Plant farming (animals still killed, but accidentally)
      The Big Picture
      The Meatrix (about history of factory farming) (we'll watch)
      Food Inc
      Glass Walls (PETA video)

      Broiler Chickens (for meat)

      Treatment: debeaking, very short lives, crowding (20,000 per barn),  ammonia fumes, collapsing under own weight (see Food Inc.)

      Laying hens (for eggs)

      What happens to the males?

      Looking down into a dumpster - discarded male chicks
      Treatment: crowding (each chicken has less space than a piece of typing paper), debeaking

      Farm Sanctuary

      Slaughter of chickens: thrown on trucks, long trip, no water, shackled upside down, dragged through electrified water, throats slit, more about slaughter


      Treatment: crowding, tail-docking, sow crates

      An industry video about phasing out of sow crates: http://www.smithfieldfoods.com/responsible-operations/animal-care (scroll down)

      Beef Cattle

      Treatment: castration, branding, range life until 8 months, feedlot for several months; corn diet, antibiotics, hormones
      More info:  Power Steer

      Dairy Cows

      Treatment: separation from calves, over-milking, mastitis, BST
      What happens to the males? (read about sexed semen)
      Good account of modern dairy farm here 

      Veal Calves

      Veal facts (old method)

      Industry changes in last 10 years

      Slaughter of pigs, cattle
      Transported on hot, crowded trucks
      Animals shot in head with stun gun, lose consciousness (ideally)
      Hoisted upside-down, throats slit
      Animals killed at a rate of 400 per hour
      Temple Grandin reforms: more auditing, curved chute

      some issues:  seine fishingbycatch, how fish die, dwindling stocks, endangered species
       Environmental impact
      Is Meat Green? 
      Rethinking the Meat Guzzler
      Livestock's Long Shadow 
      NUTRITION: can a vegan diet be healthy?

      1. Indifferent omnivore (eat anything tasty)
      2. Compassionate omnivore (consider the source--humane standards)
      3. Vegetarian/Compassionate (no meat, consider the source of eggs, dairy)
      4. Vegan (100% plant-based)
      Are vegetarian and vegan diets healthy?
      Expert statements on vegetarian and vegan diets
      B-12 supplementation      Vegan athletes 
      TASTE: does a vegan diet taste good?
      Did you enjoy your vegan meal?

      Thursday, March 2, 2017

      Donaldson & Kymlicka: Categories


      • midterm advice is above
      • office hours tomorrow 2-5 (Hyer 210)
      • restaurants receipts should be uploaded to Canvas (by 3/21)
      1. Singer
      2. Regan
      3. Carruthers
      4. Gruen
      5. Donaldson & Kymlicka, Zoopolis

      • right to life, liberty--require us to refrain from certain things--so these are negative rights
      • Regan says all animals (that are SOALs) have negative rights; D&K agree
      • positive rights require us to actively provide certain things for rights holders
      • Regan doesn't talk about positive rights
      • D&K say animals have positive rights too, but which rights they have depends on the political category they fall into

      1. Citizens--(a) Have secure right of residence in a particular nation; (b) have access to public spaces; (c) are those for whose sake the state governs; (d) are those who participate in political process
      2. Denizens (or "liminal denizens")--People visiting as tourists, workers, foreign students, refugees.  (liminal = "occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold"; denizen--"one that frequents a place"). Same basic negative rights as citizens, but weaker positive rights.  
      3. Foreigners (in other countries)--Same basic negative rights as citizens and denizens, but even weaker positive rights relative to us.  We have to do less for them.
      1. Animal citizens--Pets and other domesticated animals (cows, pigs, chickens, horses, etc.)--citizens because we've made them dependent on us and they have no other form of existence.  Plus they're capable of a peaceful, cooperative relationship with us.
      2. Animal denizens--Squirrels, rats, birds, raccoons, ducks, etc.--animals on the periphery of human communities.
      3. Animal foreigners--Wild animals, completely independent.
      • same basic negative rights--right to life and liberty
      • therefore no hunting, no killing for food, no harmful research and testing
      • a world very different from ours!
        • a new idea, not in Regan, Singer, or Gruen
        • they have a right to be in public spaces (Paris vs. Dallas)

        • pets should be socialized
        • should have access to medical care 
        • 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 guide dogs and other assistance animals

          • They are drawn to human communities but don't have to be "let in" as citizens
          • Still have basic negative rights

          Gruen: Entangled Empathy


          • Midterm advice is at tab above.  Midterm is on 3/9.  I will answer questions about the midterm next time (if you have any).  I will also have extra office hours on Wednesday 3/8, 2-5.
          • Speciesism: The Movie is showing on Monday 3/6 at 6 pm in the Hughes Trigg Forum.  You can receive 5 points for going and turning in a page of notes on 3/7.  The students who came and talked about it said there would be food.
          • Next time (3/7):  Professor Amy Freund will come and talk about the moral status of animals as depicted in art.  Art is another "way of knowing."  This will be interesting!

          A little more on Carruthers

          • Imagine you are sitting around the table, hammering out the rules for a future society.  You're purely self-interested, seeking peace and security, and reluctant to give up too much freedom.  You're behind "the veil of ignorance," so don't know who you'll be in the future society--male or female, black or white, gay or straight, animal-lover or animal-farmer, etc.  
          • Carruthers says you will grant rights to all humans, both rational agents (like the people around the table) and others (babies, "senile" old people).  
          • He says you will grant no rights to any animals.
          • What do you think?  Will you accord any degree of moral standing to any animals? If you say NO you agree with Carruthers.  If you say YES, then (a) what degree of moral standing, and (b) which animals will have it? 

          The Big Picture
          1. Peter Singer, 1975, Animalist, Utilitarian
          2. Tom Regan, 1984,  Animalist, Rights View (family quarrel with Singer)
          3. Peter Carruthers, 2011, Anti-Animalist (against Regan)
          4. Lori Gruen, 2015, Animalist (family quarrel with Singer and Regan)
          5. Donaldson & Kymlicka, 2016, Animalist (adding to Regan)
          Lori Gruen -- Gruen, annotated
          1. Standard approaches to ethics: (Singer, Regan, McMahan, etc.)
          2. What's wrong with these approaches: (a) too abstract, (b) realities ignored, (c) alienating, robotic, (d) no focus on context and institutions, (e) hero-victim duality
          3. Standard approaches to animal ethics: the faults above, plus (f) too much focus on human-animal similarities, not enough on human-animal differences
          4. The right approach:  entangled empathy and care ethics
          5. What is entangled empathy? (from chap. 2); also, video
          • empathy vs. sympathy: empathy makes you "feel with" whereas sympathy makes you feel separate and above
          • empathy vs. contagion: empathy is cognitive and controlled, contagion is automatic
          • empathy vs. projection: empathy involves understanding what the other feels, projection involves imagining how you would feel in the same situation 
          • entangled empathy:  you are involved, you can be affected and changed 

          Thursday, February 23, 2017

          Tom Regan: The Rights View


          • We will have a quick presentation meeting today
          • Get into presentation groups and please stay in them!

          Tuesday, February 21, 2017

          Peter Singer:Utilitarianism

          1. Presentation readings--see tab
          2. Vegan restaurants--see tab
          3. Speciesism, The Movie--see below; can receive 5 points "involvement" extra credit; turn in a page of notes on Monday March 6.
          4. Voice of Animals--SMU club.  

          March 6th at 6:00pm in the Hughes Trigg Forum. 

          Powerpoints for today: