Utilization of non-human animals is integral to contemporary consumerist societies. As is often argued, these societies have largely adopted an instrumentalist view towards other animals, according to which those animals are primarily things to be used rather than individuals with their own value. The use of other animals varies from breeding companion animals for profit, racing dogs and horses and keeping zoos or visiting animal circuses, to hunting, animal experimentation and animal farming. These practices are of astonishing proportions, many involving from hundreds of millions up to tens of billions of animals each year. They also involve clear financial incentives, as utilization is almost always linked to profit — thus, animal industries form one of the world’s largest business sectors. As the financial driving forces behind them urge greater efficiency and turnover, the practices are becoming increasingly intensified. As a result, animals bred for meat, eggs, fur or dairy are kept in huge warehouses, where their production rates are optimized with a definite cost to their physical and mental well-being — pigs, cows and hens are pushed to grow faster and bigger and to produce more, which in many cases means that the animals themselves become utterly exhausted.


Moral Philosophy Animal Suffering Sceptical Argument Moral Evil Moral Relevance 
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Copyright information

© Elisa Aaltola 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisa Aaltola
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland

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