Edgy Animal Welfare
95 Denv. L. Rev. 865
13 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2018 Last revised: 16 Jan 2019
Date Written: 2018
Legal animal welfare proponents should not reject out-of-hand reforms that may be celebrated by some as steps toward a radical version of animal rights. Rather, animal welfare proponents should consider the costs, risks, and benefits of all potential reforms. Some potential reforms’ risks and costs outweigh their benefits. But, both to improve animals’ welfare and to avoid irrelevance in an evolving society, legal animal welfare advocates should be willing to tolerate some costs and risks. Walking on the edge of slippery slopes is in some situations better than avoiding the slopes altogether. Connecticut’s 2016 animal advocacy statute provides an illustration of legal reform that legal animal welfare proponents should embrace even though it presents some risks of being perceived as a step toward a radical legal personhood rights paradigm.
Keywords: animal welfare, animal rights, legal reform, cost benefit analysis, Connecticut, animal advocacy statute, legal personhood
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