The Dignity of Diminished Animals: Species Norms and Engineering to Improve Welfare

  title={The Dignity of Diminished Animals: Species Norms and Engineering to Improve Welfare},
  author={Marcus Schultz-Bergin},
  journal={Ethical Theory and Moral Practice},
The meteoric rise of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology has ignited discussions of engineering agricultural animals to improve their welfare. While some have proposed enhancing animals, for instance by engineering for disease resistance, others have suggested we might diminish animals to improve their welfare. By reducing or eliminating species-typical capacities, the expression of which is frustrated under current conditions, animal diminishment could reduce or eliminate the suffering that… 
Using Breeding Technologies to Improve Farm Animal Welfare: What is the Ethical Relevance of Telos?
Some breeding technology applications are claimed to improve animal welfare: this includes potential applications of genomics and genome editing to improve animals’ resistance to environmental
Is CRISPR an Ethical Game Changer?
By many accounts, CRISPR gene-editing technology is revolutionizing biotechnology. It has been hailed as a scientific game changer and is being adopted at a break-neck pace. This hasty adoption has
Bioethical issues in genome editing by CRISPR-Cas9 technology
In order for CRISPR-Cas9 to be used safely in all areas and to solve potential issues, worldwide legislation should be prepared, taking into account the opinions of both life and social scientists, policy makers, and all other stakeholders of the sectors, and CRisPR- Cas9 applications should be implemented according to such legislations.
The ethics of genome editing in non-human animals: a systematic review of reasons reported in the academic literature
A systematic review of the reasons reported in the academic literature for and against the development and use of genome editing technologies in animals reveals a low disciplinary diversity in the contributing academics, a scarcity of systematic comparisons of potential consequences of using these technologies, an underrepresentation of animal interests, and a disjunction between the public and academic debate on this topic.
On Respecting Animals, or Can Animals be Wronged Without Being Harmed?
There is broad agreement that humans can be wronged independently of their incurring any harm, that is, when their welfare is not affected. Examples include unnoticed infringements of privacy,
From Welfare to Rights without Changing the Subject
In this paper I introduce the ‘changing the subject’ problem. When proponents of animal protection use terms such as dignity and respect they can be fairly accused of shifting debate from welfare to
In Defense of Neural Disenhancement to Promote Animal Welfare
I argue that animal welfare advocates don’t act wrongly if they promote research into ways of neurally disenhancing animals. More precisely, I contend that even if we conclude that it’s wrong to
The ethics of genome editing technologies in non-human animals : A systematic review of reasons reported in the academic literature
This research highlights the need to understand more fully the role of emotion in the decision-making process and the importance of social reinforcement in the development of healthy emotions.
The Philosophical Problem of Welfare
In this chapter I explain the philosophical problem of welfare. The philosophical problem of welfare is also known as the changing the subject problem. The problem arises as a consequence of the


Knocking Out Pain in Livestock: Can Technology Succeed Where Morality has Stalled?
It is suggested that recent research indicates that the authors may be very close to, if not already at, the point where they can genetically engineer factory-farmed livestock with a reduced or completely eliminated capacity to suffer.
Staying good while playing god--the ethics of breeding farm animals.
The aim of this paper is to discuss the goals and consequences of farm animal breeding within an ethical context, and it is suggested that there are in fact two very different ethical approaches: the 'quality of life-based' approach and the 'preservationist' approach.
Beyond Welfare: Animal Integrity, Animal Dignity, and Genetic Engineering
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.
Two Concepts of Dignity for Humans and Non-Human Organisms in the Context of Genetic Engineering
The inherent value conception of dignity, as here defended, is what is meant in the Swiss Constitution article.
Two concepts of dignity for humans and non-human organisms in the context of genetic engineering
The inherent value conception of dignity, as here defended, is what is meant in the Swiss Constitution article about the dignity of nonhuman animals.
The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken Problem
Nanotechnologies that have been linked to the possibility of enhancing cognitive capabilities of human beings might also be deployed to reduce or eliminate such capabilities in non-human vertebrate
The Blind Hens' Challenge: Does It Undermine the View That Only Welfare Matters in Our Dealings with Animals?
Animal ethicists have recently debated the ethical questions raised by disenhancing animals to improve their welfare. Here, we focus on the particular case of breeding hens for commercial egg-laying
Animal Rights & Human Morality
It's been more than two decades since the first edition of this landmark book garnered public accolades for its sensitive yet honest and forthright approach to the many disquieting questions
Animals in their Nature
This article seeks to engage with contemporary debates on the social and ethical dimensions of genetically modified (GM) animals. Dominant policy ethical approaches and frameworks are criticized for