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Beyond Welfare: Animal Integrity, Animal Dignity, and Genetic Engineering

From: Ethics & the Environment
Volume 9, Number 1, Spring 2004
pp. 94-120 | 10.1353/een.2004.0009

Abstract

Bernard Rollin argues that it is permissible to change an animal's telos through genetic engineering, if it doesn't harm the animal's welfare. Recent attempts to undermine his argument rely either on the claim that diminishing certain capacities always harms an animal's welfare or on the claim that it always violates an animal's integrity. I argue that these fail. However, respect for animal dignity provides a defeasible reason not to engineer an animal in a way that inhibits the development of those functions that a member of its species can normally perform, even if the modification would improve the animal's welfare.



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