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Pets and PeopleThe Ethics of Companion Animals$
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Christine Overall

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456085

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456085.001.0001

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Throw Out the Dog?

Throw Out the Dog?

Death, Longevity, and Companion Animals

(p.249) 17 Throw Out the Dog?
Pets and People

Christine Overall

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers whether death is bad for companion animals, whether their death should be postponed, and whether for companion animals a longer life is a better life. After explicating the concept of death as the termination of life, the chapter presents and replies to three arguments purporting to show that, for animals in general, a longer life is not a better life. In concludes that when companion animals have prospects for future enjoyment, greater longevity is good and death is bad for them. Not only is it prima facie wrong to kill or fail to save companion animals; it is also not wrong to keep them alive, although there are limits based on the animals’ suffering and the availability of resources.

Keywords:   longevity, concept of death, badness of death, enjoyment, companion animal

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