Animals, Ethics and Us: a veterinarian’s view of human animal interactions

Madeleine L.H. Campbell

Publishers:  5m Publishing Ltd. ISBN 97811789189497 (2019)


A review written by David Morton

This short easy-to-read booklet by Madeleine Campbell (seven chapters 130pp) makes a valuable contribution to the literature on practical veterinary ethics.  It is not comprehensive in any way, nor is it meant to be, but it covers some interesting topics of relevance to many practising vets.  It reflects the author’s personal approach and journey through ethics into several issues where she has been involved, each forming a challenging chapter.  These include: the use of animals in sport and use of drugs; use of animals in research and choice of species; some of the ethical issues in veterinary treatment, including dealing with the consequences of irresponsible breeding; cloning; human animal relationships; and a final chapter on how vets can make a difference in implementation of laws and self-regulation of human choices.

All these topics are wrapped up by addressing some broader veterinary issues such as the influence of species on our attitudes towards certain animals, animal abuse and misuse, and how far should we go in what we do to animals (vets and others).  There is a very good introductory chapter on how we think about animals that deals with specific ethical issues and conundrums put by some earlier writers, and why she rejects or accepts them.  This is a very good start for those wanting an introduction to veterinary and animal ethics and wanting to use ethical deductions and conclusions in practical examples as outlined above.  The last chapter brings in some broader topical societal issues such as the Me-Too movement and public opinion influencers, which illustrates why ethics does not stand still in a modern vibrant society.  It did not end for animals with St, Francis, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Bentham, Hume, Singer or Regan, - and will not end with Campbell for that matter!!

I would recommend AWSELVA members to read this short easy-to-read book by one of our members!!



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