Pedigreed breeding often leads to severe health problems for, say, those dogs who exist as a result of the practice. It is also the case that virtually all of those unhealthy animals would not exist at all if it were not for the practice of pedigreed breeding. If those animals have lives worth living, then it follows that they are not harmed by the practice—assuming that a life worth living is better than no life at all. It would seem, then, that the standard account of harm cannot account for the wrongness of our intentionally creating pets with lower welfare. I argue that there is an overlooked aspect of harm that, when coupled with our responsibilities as animal caretakers, entails that we ought to cease the practice of pedigreed breeding for the sake of future pets, even if many actual pets are not made worse off by the practice.
"Why We Should Stop Creating Pets with Lives Worth Living,"
Between the Species:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bts/vol18/iss1/4