Zoos and Animal Rights: The Ethics of Keeping Animals

Zoos and Animal Rights: The Ethics of Keeping Animals

Zoos and Animal Rights: The Ethics of Keeping Animals

Zoos and Animal Rights: The Ethics of Keeping Animals

Synopsis

This books examines the ethics of keeping animals in zoos. It argues that animal rights can be reconciled with the continuing existence of zoos. It has a fascinating amount of details about zoos in history and examines the most pressing issue for this debate, the role of zoos in conservation.

Excerpt

Zoos and philosophy probably seem the oddest combination, but this book is an attempt to examine some of the ethical issues raised by the never-ending debate over zoos. Having some acquaintance with both philosophy and zoology, and some experience of zoos, I am hoping that my contribution to that debate will be found useful by quite a range of people: those interested in the ethical aspects of zoos as students of philosophy or public affairs or veterinary medicine, or as professionals in those fields; those involved or interested in zoos as such, or animal keeping in any of its infinite varieties; and finally those genuinely concerned, whether as ‘pros’ or ‘antis’, with the arguments over zoos and animal rights—even if they think there’s little to argue about, and that we should just get on as quickly as possible with sending all the animals back where they came from.

I have had enormous help and support from many who are, of course, in no way responsible for any of the views or information here presented: Professor Stephen Clark, who was a most stimulating supervisor of the Glasgow University thesis which has now been fully metamorphosed, I hope, into a book of wider appeal; my examiners, Mary Midgley and Elizabeth Telfer; and many other past and present members of the Philosophy Department at Glasgow. Without Janet Sisson’s help, I’d never even have got my word processor to number the pages! Among other philosophers, I thank also the reader for Routledge for some critical but constructive comments.

For long-standing support and help, I thank Richard O’Grady, Director/Secretary of the Zoological Society of Glasgow and West of Scotland, the Society’s President, William MacKenzie, and its Council; among colleagues at the zoo, I thank particularly Roger . . .

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