Led On Line
Presentazione - About us
Novita' - What's new
Lededizioni Home Page Ricerca - Search
Catalogo - Catalogue
Per contattarci - Contacts
Per gli Autori - For the Authors
Statistiche - Statistics
Cookie Policy
Privacy Policy

The Predation and Procreation Problems: Persistent Intuitions Gone Wild

Stijn Bruers


Predation causes a lot of suffering in the wild. Yet, a lot of people believe it is morally permissible. This article presents an ethical principle that justifies (condones) predation without referring to anthropocentric notions such as moral agency or species membership. The moral intuition that predation is permissible is coherent with other intuitions about harmful behaviors in the wild, such as the permissibility of some kinds of procreation (for example r-selection) that do not sufficiently contribute to wellbeing. These intuitions can be unified in an ethical principle that uses the three conditions of naturalness, normality and necessity. Furthermore, this 3-N-principle is related to the intrinsic value of biodiversity. Finally, some analogies between well-being of a sentient being and biodiversity of an ecosystem are discussed.

Full Text:



ADA, 2009. “Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets”. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 109 (7): 1266-82.

Bruers, Stijn. 2014. Born Free and Equal. On the Ethical Consistency of Animal Equality. Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing.

Ebert, Rainer, and Tibor R. Machan. 2012. “Innocent Threats and the Moral Problem of Carnivorous Animals”. Journal of Applied Philosophy 29 (2): 146-59.

Horta, Oscar. 2010. “Debunking the Idyllic View of Natural Processes: Population Dynamics and Suffering in the Wild”. Télos 17: 73-88.

Joy, Melanie. 2002. Psychic Numbing and Meat Consumption: the Psychology of Carnism, PhD Diss., Saybrook Graduate School, San Francisco.

Nozick, Robert. 1974. Anarchy, State, and Utopia. New York: Basic Books.

Rawls, John. 1971. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Regan, Tom. 1983. The Case for Animal Rights. Berkeley - Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Shaw, William H. 1999. Contemporary Ethics: Taking Account of Utilitarianism. Oxford: Blackwell.

Simmons, Aaron. 2009. “Animals, Predators, the Right to Life and the Duty to Save Lives”. Ethics and the Environment 14 (1): 15-27.

Singer, Peter. 1973. “Food for Thought, Reply to David Rosinger”. New York Review of Books, June 14. Accessed October 6, 2014. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1973/jun/14/food-for-thought/.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/rela-2015-001-brue

Copyright (©) 2018 Stijn Bruers – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie

Relations. Beyond Anthropocentrism
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (04/05/2012 n. 211)
Online ISSN 2280-9643 - Print ISSN 2283-3196

Executive Editor: Francesco Allegri
Associate Editor: Matteo Andreozzi 
Review Editors: Sofia Bonicalzi - Eleonora Adorni
Editorial Board:
Ralph R. Acampora - Carol J. Adams - Vilma Baricalla - Luisella Battaglia - Rod Bennison - Matthew R. Calarco - Piergiorgio Donatelli - William Grove-Fanning - Serenella Iovino - Luigi Lombardi Vallauri - Christoph Lumer - Joel MacClellan - Dario Martinelli - Roberto Marchesini - Alma Massaro - Serpil Oppermann - Simone Pollo - Paola Sobbrio - Kim Stallwood - Sabrina Tonutti - Jessica Ullrich - Federico Zuolo

Referee List

© 2001 LED Edizioni Universitarie di Lettere Economia Diritto