Monday, September 2, 2019
Human Responsibilities in Domestic Breeding Essay -- Animals, Domesti
Human Responsibilities in Domestic Breeding Introduction For centuries humans have taken on the role of selectively breeding various animals in the pursuit of specific traits or behaviors. A question that is often ignored, and which I want to address, is what responsibility do the breeders have in selecting dam and sires for a mating, in regard to the offspring from that cross. In the past, animals were regarded with varying levels of respect and moral status. In early hunter-gather societies, animals were perceived as being fully rational, sentient and intelligent beings and thus be treated with due respect and consideration (1). With the advent of animal husbandry came changes in the way animals were viewed. Initially, it was common to elevate them to the status of Ã¢â¬Å"zoomorphic godsÃ¢â¬ and incorporated strict respect and kindness toward animals (1)(2). The respect towards animals changed over time and the different views became very disparate. Some groups saw animals merely as tools and others advocated vegetarianism and virtual ly equal moral status with humans. The beginnings of modern science, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries drastically diminished the moral status of animals, due in part to the ideas of Rene Descartes. [reference] Animals were widely seen as organic but soulless matter, similar to a machine. These views supported vivisections and other degradations towards animals as acceptable. Today, a whole spectrum exists on the moral status of animals, however, I believe the most convincing is the Equal Consideration and Unequal Moral Status proposed by David Degrazia (3). Basically, Degrazia proposes that the lives of humans and animals are relevantly different and an animal could be harmed if Ã¢â¬Å"needfulÃ¢â¬ . .. ...ay not have any interests in common with humans, through selective mating. This last point adds a layer of complexity to the decision-making process but does not change the ethics in this case based on WassermanÃ¢â¬â¢s argument. For example if, for whatever reason, a dog wanted long hair but the breeder thought that short hair would be more comfortable due to the climate, the breeder does not wrong the offspring because his motivation was, in his perspective, best for the offspring. Conclusion Therefore, based on the argument by Rollins we have an obligation to all domestic animals because we have fashioned a world where they are no longer capable of living on their own. Furthermore, having taken the responsibility to selectively breed them we have the duty to provide the proper balance of genetic diversity because that is in the best interests of the offspring.