This book explores the problem of disagreement concerning the treatment of animals in a liberal society. Current laws include an unprecedented concern for animal welfare, yet disagreement remains pervasive. This issue has so far been neglected both in political philosophy and animal ethics. Although starting from disagreement has been the hallmark of many politically liberal theories, none have been devoted to the treatment of animals, and conversely, most theories in animal ethics do not take the disagreement on this issue seriously. Bridging this divide with a change of perspective, Zuolo argues that we should begin from the disagreement on the moral status of animals and the treatment we owe them.
Reconstructing the epistemic nature of disagreement about animals, Zuolo proposes a novel form of public justification to find principles acceptable to all. By setting out a unified framework which honours the liberal principles of respect for diversity, a robust liberal political theory capable of dealing with diverse forms of disagreement, and even some forms of radical dissent, is achieved.
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