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This essay seeks to contribute to this conversation in an ethically applicable way, addressing specifically the Kantian vein of animal welfare discussed by Dr. Jens Timmermann in his essay When the Tail Wags the Dog: Animal Welfare and Indirect Duty in Kantian Ethics. In Part I, I will examine the work Timmermann undertakes to extend greater protection to animals under Kantian ethics. I will also raise a critical question concerning Timmermann’s unwillingness to apply his advancements to the animal welfare problems in our modern world. In Part II, I will attempt to apply Timmermann’s conclusions to the question of using domesticated animals for food. Therein I will demonstrate that, under Timmermann’s Kantian ethics, the use of sentient animals to meet nutritional needs is morally acceptable. I will also posit an answer to the inquiry raised in Part I. Finally, in Part III I will then expand the applicability of Timmermann’s ethics by stipulating a list of necessary conditions in rearing domesticated livestock, so as to ensure the process is morally permissible.


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