Episode 11 – Animals
Interviewees Peter Singer, Bronwyn Finnigan and Julian Savulescu ask if animals have the same interests as humans and how we should ethically treat them.
This episode is focussed on ethical issues arising from our treatment of animals. It begins from the question of what rights we should grant animals, and discusses factory farming, vegetarianism, Buddhist traditions, animal sentience, the protection of endangered species, animal experimentation, and the potential creation of genetic chimeras.
Links to Ethical Capability
• Investigate why ethical principles may differ between people and groups, considering the influence of cultural norms, religion, world views and philosophical thought (VCECU015)
• Explore a range of ethical problems and examine the extent to which different positions are related to commonly held ethical concepts and principles, considering the influence of cultural norms, religion, world views and philosophical thought (VCECU020)
• Distinguish between the ethical and non-ethical dimensions of complex issues, including the distinction between ethical and legal issues (VCECU021)
Victorian Curriculum: Science
VCE Biology (Unit 4 – manipulating DNA and biotechnologies)
VCE Food (Unit 4)
7-10 Science Syllabus
HSC Food Technology
Questions and discussion points
- Should animals have the same rights as humans?
- Is it ever ethically defensible to eat meat?
- If we could save humans lives, even if it meant causing great suffering and death to animals, should we do it? Would we be able to ethically justify allowing people to die in order to prevent the suffering of animals?