Susan M. Turner (2005) has argued that the use of animal analogs ought to be considered categorically unethical on deontological, or rights-grounds, and that some but not all animal analogs are unethical on utilitarian grounds. I claim, on the contrary, that the use of most, if not all animal analogs can be justified from both the utilitarian and animal rights perspectives. Indeed, I believe that a convincing case is to be made for the thesis that animal analogs ought to be promoted actively, on ethical grounds. I hold this to be true of both food and clothing replacement analogs, although I agree with Turner’s categorical condemnation of secondhand animal skin. I also hold that the general question of the preference for animal analogs over their original flesh and skin-based inspirations raises important questions about the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. I examine these in sympathy with the moderate aestheticist claims that some degree of distinction between these two spheres of value is desirable, and that the sublimation of powerful and problematical urges is normally preferable to their suppression.



Included in

Philosophy Commons