Staff Publications

Staff Publications

  • external user (warningwarning)
  • Log in as
  • language uk
  • About

    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Record number 504982
Title Beneath the surface: killing of fish as a moral problem
Author(s) Bovenkerk, B.; Braithwaite, V.A.
Source In: The end of animal life: a start for ethical debate / Meijboom, F.L.B., Stassen, E.N., Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086862603 - p. 225 - 250.
DOI https://doi.org/10.3920/978-90-8686-808-7_14
Department(s) Philosophy
WASS
Publication type Peer reviewed book chapter
Publication year 2016
Abstract Are we morally justified in killing fish and if so, for what purposes? We do not focus on the suffering that is done during the killing, but on the question whether death itself is harmful for fish. We need to distinguish two questions; first, can death be considered a harm for fish? And second, if it is a harm, how much of a harm is it? In order to answer the first question, we explore four lines of reasoning: (1) fish desire to stay alive; (2) something valuable is lost when fish are killed; (3) death deprives fish of future happiness or goods; (4) killing fish reflects badly on our character. Some argue that we should not kill animals if they desire to stay alive and that a being can form a desire to stay alive only when it has the capacity to be aware of itself as a distinct entity existing over time. We cast doubt on this view: Do we value continued life because it is desirable or do we desire continued life because it is valuable? It seems more plausible that it is not the desire to live that matters, but being able to enjoy goods, and death thwarts future opportunities for enjoyment. This would entail that a being can have an interest in continued life, without actively being interested in it. Next, we discuss the second question of how harmful death is for fish. A widely shared intuition is that it is worse to kill a human being or mammal than a fish, because human or mammal life is in our view more valuable. But how can we account for this intuition? Finally, we address some implications of the view that killing fish is harmful.
Comments
There are no comments yet. You can post the first one!
Post a comment
 
Please log in to use this service. Login as Wageningen University & Research user or guest user in upper right hand corner of this page.