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The End of Animal Life: A Start for Ethical Debate, Ethical and Societal Considerations on Killing Animals

by Franck L. B. Meijboom, Elsbeth N. Stassen
February 2016

Killing animals is common practice, yet it is not morally neutral. The end of animal life is related to many societal and ethical questions and concerns. Questions such as how long should we continue to treat an animal before putting it down? But also the question whether it could be legitimate to kill individual animals for the welfare of the herd or of future generations. The ongoing public and academic discussions on these, and on other well-known questions like those related to the killing of animals for food or for scientific purposes, show that there is no one standard evaluation of animal life. This book is an edited volume that enables the reader to get a grip on that plurality of views with regard to animals. It helps to deal with the many questions related to the end of animal life. The chapters show how the plurality of views on killing animals is related to moral presuppositions by providing a clear overview of the ethical views on end-of-life decisions. Furthermore, the book contains a number of applied studies of the ethical questions related to killing animals in various practices, including small animal practice, wildlife management, fishing and fish farming, animal experimentation and livestock farming. These chapters can help veterinarians, scientists, students, policy makers and many other professionals working with animals to easily get a good overview of the issues at stake, and may contribute to responsible decision-making with regard to the end of animal life.

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