Animal Rights And Wrongs by Roger Scruton

By Roger Scruton

Roger Scruton units out a compelling account of ways we should always take into consideration the morality of our relations to different animals. He argues that it's improper to think that animals immediately have rights, yet indicates we owe them tasks looking on no matter if we're treating them as pets, for laboratory experiments or for meat. this can be crucial interpreting within the gentle of the hot public obstacle over matters reminiscent of veal calf exportation and the BSE situation>

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For sympathies can be swayed; they impart a warm sense of selfapproval to every action that they cause, regardless of its moral worth, and a person who lives by sympathy may undermine the moral order as effectively as the one who lives by crime. The sympathies of crowds are notoriously fickle and dangerous; those of individuals scarcely less so. Only in the virtuous character – the character schooled in selfdenial – does sympathy feed the moral sense. Many of our deepest moral motives stem from our appreciation of this fact.

I do not mean that all humans are admirable or lovable: far from it. But they are all in some way untouchable. An air of sacred prohibition surrounds humanity, since the ‘human form divine’ is our only image of the moral being – the being who stands above nature, in an attitude of judgement. This is the true reason why we cannot look on the ‘marginal humans’ discussed in the last chapter in the same way as we look on animals. And although we cannot justify the distinction case by case, we can justify the feeling from which it f lows.

Virtue and vice are seamless: justice that is selective towards its beneficiary is not justice but favouritism; kindness that specialises in the sufferings of a particular group, class or species, is not kindness. The concept of virtue, therefore, makes a substantial contribution to the question of how we should treat animals. It compels us to distinguish virtuous and vicious attitudes towards other creatures, regardless of whether those creatures are moral beings like us. Piety But there is a fourth component in moral thought which must be mentioned – the component which I shall call piety.

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