FOREWORD
When
Evelyn Pluhar first embarked on the long intellectual voyage that
culminated in this excellent book, she remarked to me that she saw
herself as a "second generation" thinker in the area of ethics and ani-
mals. As one of the first-generation theorists, I thought it exigent in my
work to establish rationally that nonhuman animals did enjoy significant
moral status, and that such inclusion within the scope of moral concern
needed to be "writ large" in social ethics and social policy. Although
society had long acknowledged a minimalistic concern for cruelty to
animals, it was growing increasingly obvious that the amount of suffer-
ing attributable to overt, deliberate cruelty was minute in comparison to
the suffering unintentionally occasioned by such unchallenged pursuits
as research, testing, and high technology agriculture. In the face of the
sheer enormity of animal suffering to be found in society, then, I felt it
most pressing to serve as an intellectual midwife to an emerging social
ethic
of concern about the treatment of animals in all areas of social use,
and to attempt also to mitigate some of the most egregious practices.
In this crusade, the first-generation theorists have been very success-
ful. Public concern about animals has resulted in many positive improve-
ments in animal treatment, from laws mandating the control of pain and
suffering in animal research to the voluntary abandonment of cosmetic
testing by major companies. Animals have entered the moral arena, and
now it is time to address a plethora of moral questions engendered by
their presence therein. Most important perhaps, and certainly most vex-
atious, is the question of how much animal interests ought to be valued
when they are in conflict with human interests and the interests of other
animals. Furthermore, and inevitably, voices are being raised against
the inclusion of animals in the moral arena, and these voices demand
cogent-and devastating-responses. It is therefore imperative that the
theoretical basis for animal moral status continue to be developed and
deepened.
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