Discussion of Josh Milburn’s Just Fodder: The Ethics of Feeding Animals

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In Just Fodder: The Ethics of Feeding Animals, Josh Milburn thinks through the
implications of feeding animals by focusing on the relationships between humans and three different groups of animals: (1) animal companions; (2) animal neighbours; and (3) wild animals. In my comments, I concentrate on how the actions and agency interests of these animals problematise some of Milburn’s assumptions and normative prescriptions. My overall aim is to show how giving animal agency more prominence in our thinking about what we owe to them has significant implications. It is my view that our current theorising about other animals focuses too heavily on their experiential welfare and not enough on what animals do and the normative significance of what they do. Though I agree with Milburn that all animals have a right against being killed and made to suffer, a full ethical analysis of our relations with other animals must also consider their (equally weighty) interest in self-determination.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Ethics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2024


  • agency
  • self-determination
  • animal rights
  • food ethics
  • animal companions
  • pets
  • wild animals

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