Ethics & the Environment, Volume 12, Number 1, Spring 2007
RAWLSIAN RESOURCES FOR ANIMAL ETHICS
Ruth Abbey, University of Notre Dame, USA
This article considers what contribution the work of John Rawls can make to questions about animal ethics.
It argues that there are more normative resources in A Theory of Justice for a concern with animal welfare
than some of Rawls's critics acknowledge. However, the move from A Theory of Justice to Political
Liberalism sees a depletion of normative resources in Rawlsian thought for addressing animal ethics.
The article concludes by endorsing the implication of A Theory of Justice that we look for ways other than
rights discourse to respect and protect the well-being of animals.
"AFRICA BEGINS AT THE PYRENEES": MORAL OUTRAGE, HYPOCRISY, AND THE SPANISH BULLFIGHT
Catherine Bailey, Minnesota State University, USA
The long history of criticism directed at bullfighting usually suggests that there is something
especially morally noxious about it. I analyze the claims that bullfighting is distinctively immoral,
comparing it to more widely accepted practices such as the slaughtering of animals for food. I
conclude that, while bullfighting is horrific, the emphasis on it as especially "uncivilized" may
serve to disguise the similarities that it has with other practices that also depend on animal
suffering. I conclude that, for many, the hypocritical maintenance of a self-image as "civilized,"
despite great moral crimes committed against animals, seems to be facilitated by a focus on this
especially dramatic example of animal cruelty.
AN OTHER FACE OF ETHICS IN LEVINAS
Barbara Jane Davy, Ontario, Canada
The main threads of Emmanuel Levinas' theory of ethics, developed in his philosophical works,
Totality and Infinity (1969), and Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence (1998), instruct that
ethics require transcendence of being and nature, which he describes in terms of a transcendence
of animality to the human. This apparent devaluation of the nonhuman would seem to preclude the
development of Levinasian environmental ethics. However, a deconstructive reading of Levinas
recognizes a subtext that interrupts the main thread of his argument running against the inclusion
of nonhuman others in ethics. Through a critical reconstructive reading of Levinas, I develop an
ethic extraneous to Levinas' transcendent ethics, an ethic outside his Aotherwise than being.
CRITIQUE OF CALLICOTT'S BIOSOCIAL MORAL THEORY
John Hadley, Charles Stuart University, New South Wales, Australia
J. Baird Callicott's claim to have unified environmentalism and animal liberation should be
rejected by holists and liberationists. By making relations of intimacy necessary for moral
considerability, Callicott excludes from the moral community nonhuman animals unable to engage
in intimate relations due to the circumstances of their confinement. By failing to afford
moral protection to animals in factory farms and research laboratories, Callicott's biosocial
moral theory falls short of meeting a basic moral demand of liberationists. Moreover, were
Callicott to include factory farm and research animals inside the moral community by affording
them universal or non-communitarian rights, his theory would fall foul of environmentalists who
seek to promote ecosystem stability and integrity via therapeutic hunting. If factory farm and
research animals can have rights irrespective of their particular circumstances, then so can
free-roaming animals from overabundant and exotic species.
THE CARE OF THE SELF AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS: TOWARDS A FOUCAULTIAN ACCOUNT OF DIETARY PRACTICE
Joseph J. Tanke, Boston College, USA
This essay appropriates the understanding of ethics developed by Michel Foucault in his
courses at the College de France from 1980 until his death in 1984, with the aim of
formulating a progressive environmental politics. As such, it attempts to navigate some
of the long-standing divides between the movement for animal rights and environmental
ethics proper, finding in the practice of vegetarianism a form of self-relation that is
conducive to critical forms of speech and politics. The final phase of Foucault's work is
replete with insights into how the care of the self can serve as a resistance to forms of
power and political stasis. This paper presents these unpublished materials, allowing for
a glimpse of the unknown Foucault, and reinterprets vegetarianism as a form of
self-practice that is linked with truth and critical speech.