This chapter is designed to help people rationally engage moral issues regarding the treatment of animals, specifically in experimentation, research, product testing, and education. Little “new” philosophy is offered here, strictly speaking. New arguments are unnecessary to help make progress in how people think about these issues. What is needed are improved abilities to engage the arguments already on the table, for example, stronger skills at identifying and evaluating the existing reasons given for and against conclusions on the morality of various uses of animals. To help improve these abilities, this chapter sets forth a set of basic but powerful “logical skills” for rationally evaluating arguments. These skills emerge from reflection on some historical moral issues: an argument in defense of slavery, an argument against women being educated, and, as a nonhistorical case, an argument in favor of eating meat. These skills help us see these arguments’ exact faults. And they are generally useful, for being applicable to any moral issue.
Nobis, N. (2012). Rational engagement, emotional response, and the prospects for moral progress in animal use "debates". In J. Garrett (Ed.), The ethics of animal research : exploring the controversy (pp. 237-266). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.