[Man and his fellow-creatures under ethical aspects]

Gotthart M Teutsch
ALTEX 2004, 21 (4): 199-220
The repeated attempts to tighten up the literary report are finally showing effects. This not only as a result of shorter reports but also because of the fact that less is being written and published regarding our topic. The discussion seems exhausted which, for years, dealt with the controversial moral status of animals and the--finally--constitutionally sanctioned status of animal protection in Germany. The problem of animals in ethics is becoming a rarity. Correspondingly, bio-ethics is oriented towards human problems and related borderline cases in a rather one-sided manner. This radically altered situation corresponds to an equally profound shift in the direction of our thinking. In the 1970's it was the shock in reaction to brutality towards T.V.-reports. But soon questions asking about the guilty were being posed. To direct the question from a guilt-related "who" to the "what" of the underlying reasons was a more difficult task. Just like social ethics developed out of social criticism, modern animal ethics developed out of the criticism of cruelty to animals. And, to the degree that this criticism became a common public concern, it lost its importance in comparison to the ethical questions now moving into the centre of the interest. In view of book-production this means that animal protection-related literature appears in three major groups: Husbandry, Use and Abuse, Animal Protection Law, Animal (Protection) Ethics. To collect these three groups simultaneously is becoming increasingly difficult. The concentration on, and supposedly a limitation to the sectors morals and ethics of the man-animal relationship cannot be avoided in the literary report. Morals is stressed here in particular in order to limit the excessive dominance of theoretical ethics and to preserve the priority of action-guiding morals.

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