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Entries

Animal Rights Encyclopedia entries
  1. Absolutism
  2. Altruism
  3. Animal Ethics
  4. Animal Rights - see 'Rights'
  5. Animal Rights History
  6. Animal Rights Motto
  7. Animal Rights vs Animal Ethics
  8. Animal Rights vs Animal Welfare
  9. Animal Rights vs Conservation
  10. Anthropocentrism
  11. Anthropocentrism, Enlightened
  12. Anthropomorphism
  13. Aquinas, Thomas
  14. Aristotle

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Bearskin Hats
  2. Beef Cattle Statistics
  3. Bestiality - see 'Zoophilia'
  4. Behaviourism
  5. Bentham, Jeremy
  6. Brain, Milestones of Understanding
  7. Bushmeat

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  1. Cat Traffic Training
  2. Chickens - Broiler Hens
  3. Chickens - Egg-laying Hens
  4. Chickens Statistics
  5. Clever Hans the Counting Horse
  6. Consciousness
  7. Consequence Ethics (Consequentialism)
  8. Consideration, Equal
  9. Contractarianism
  10. Copernicus, Nicolaus
  11. Creature Harmony
  12. Cruelty

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  1. Darwin, Charles
  2. Deep Ecology
  3. Descartes
  4. Dogs - Communication & Control
  5. Duty Ethics (Deontology)

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  1. Emotivism
  2. Environmental Ethics / Environmentalism
  3. Ethical Egoism
  4. Ethical Theories & Animal Rights
  5. Euphemisms
  6. Expanding the Circle
  7. Experimental Animals - see 'Laboratory-Experimental Animals'

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Factory Farming
  2. Fish Statistics
  3. Five Freedoms
  4. Foxhunting with Hounds
  5. Fur Animal Statistics
  6. Fur Brushes & Bows
  7. Fur Farming
  8. Fur Marketing
  9. Fur Morality
  10. Fur Species
  11. Fur Trapping

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  1. Golden Rule
  2. Goldfish Bowls
  3. Great Apes

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Han means He or She
  2. Human Overpopulation
  3. Human Superiority

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Interests
  2. Interests - see Consideration, Equal
  3. Intrinsic Value
  4. Is Ought Fallacy
  5. It - Stop Calling Animals It

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Laboratory-Experimental Animals
  2. Legalism

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Meat Statistics
  2. Mirror Test of Animal Consciousness
  3. Moral Agents & Patients
  4. Moral Autonomy
  5. Moral Status or Standing
  6. Moral Theory Choice
  7. Moral Values & Judgements
  8. Mutilation of Farm Animals

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Naturalistic Fallacy
  2. Natural Selection
  3. New Welfarism - see 'Welfarism, New'
  4. Number Fallacy

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Painism
  2. Passenger Pigeon
  3. Pigs / Hogs Statistics
  4. Predation

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Reciprocal Morality
  2. Religious Tradition
  3. Rights

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  1. Sheep & Goats Statistics
  2. Soul
  3. Subjectivism
  4. Subject of a Life

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Terrorism
  2. Therianthropy

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Universal Declaration on Animals
  2. Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare
  3. Utilitarianism

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Vegetarianism
  2. Vermin
  3. Virtue Ethics

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  1. Welfarism, New
  2. Wolf Ethics

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  1. Zoophilia
  2. Zoos







 

Reciprocal Morality

Reciprocal morality  The view that you are obligated to respect the moral rights of others only if they respect your moral rights is called reciprocal morality. The failure of animals to reciprocate moral obligations is a reason why animals should not have rights, according to some philosophers. Rights must be reciprocal, they say, and because animals cannot honour our rights we should not grant them rights.

Reciprocating spans
Reciprocating spans in stone. Photo: Paolo da Reggio.

However, you can argue that conferment of rights to animals is about how humans should behave towards animals and not about whether animals can grant us rights. Much the same argument is the following. We give rights to many people who cannot respect or reciprocate our rights, such as babies, young children and unborn future generations. When they are grown up they benefit us by giving rights to our future next of kin (see Altruism). We also give rights to severely mentally retarded people and we benefit by being grateful for rights ourselves if we become severely mentally disturbed. But as far as animals are concerned, some people claim, we are not related to animals and nor shall we turn into animals, so it is pointless giving rights to animals. However, this argument misses the point because conferring rights is about how we should behave, even when we gain nothing tangible from doing so.








     
 

     

Page revised Nov 2010.
Web site established Nov 2009.