Utilitas

Research Article

Ownership and Justice for Animals

ALASDAIR COCHRANEa1

a1 London School of Economics and Political Science A.D.Cochrane@lse.ac.uk

Abstract

This article argues that it is not necessary to abolish all incidents of animal ownership in order to achieve justice for them. It claims that ownership does not grant owners a right to absolute control of their property. Rather, it argues that ownership is a much more qualified concept, conveying different rights in different contexts. With this understanding of ownership in mind, the article argues that it is possible for humans to own animals and at the same time to treat them justly: to recognize that they possess moral status; to assign them meaningful rights; and to consider their interests equally.