The ethics of touch & the importance of nonhuman relationships in agriculture

Steve Cooke

This talk discusses the moral significance of relationships between social nonhuman animals. It argues that nonhuman relationships can be sufficiently important to them to generate duties in moral agents. The talk examines the consequences of this for animal agriculture. One consequence is that putatively good welfare improvements are cast in a different light. Specifically, it is argued that welfare interventions designed to ameliorate or mitigate relational harms by mimicking intimate behaviour fail to properly appreciate the value of the relationships they mimic.

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