Flourishing Dogs: The Case for an Individualized Conception of Welfare and Its Implications
Number of Authors: 1
2016 (English)In: Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, ISSN 1187-7863, E-ISSN 1573-322X, Vol. 29, no 3, 425-438 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Martha Nussbaum argues that animals (including ourselves) are entitled to a flourishing life according to the norm for their species. Nussbaum furthermore suggests that in the case of dogs, breed norms as well as species norms are relevant. Her theses capture both common intuitions among laypeople according to which there is something wrong with the breeding of unnatural animals, or animals that are too different from their wild ancestors, and the dog enthusiast's belief that dogs departing from the norms for their breed are tragic. I argue that the high diversity of the dog species and the ultimate arbitrariness of breed norms support the thesis that a conception of welfare must be tied to what the individual requires in order to flourish. In the second part of the paper, I discuss the implications that an individualized (but sufficiently sophisticated) welfare conception has for the breeding of dogs for conformation shows, for the pet market and for the performance of various tasks for which we need working dogs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 29, no 3, 425-438 p.
Animal welfare, Animal breeding, Dog breeding, Preferentialism, Flourishing, Species norm, Martha Nussbaum
Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries Philosophy, Ethics and Religion Earth and Related Environmental Sciences History and Archaeology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132047DOI: 10.1007/s10806-016-9612-0ISI: 000376877700005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-132047DiVA: diva2:948946