Sentience as a Political Argument

Speaker: Bernd Ladwig, Professor for Political Theory and Philosophy Free University of Berlin
Time: Saturday, 04:30 PM – 05:00 PM
Room: H1058

Interest-based approaches related to sentience are particularly useful when representing the issues of animal rights and animal welfare in the public sphere. For pragmatic reasons, the “reasonable grounds” designation of animal protection laws should be interpreted in a radically restricted fashion: only morally significant interests of humans can potentially be used to justify harming an animal. Vanity interests, such as meat consumption, sport, and entertainment are not reason enough to justify the harm of an animal. This interpretation sets a minimum level of acceptable consideration, but does not preclude a broader understanding of animal rights.