2016

Super-muscly pigs: trading ethics for efficiency

in Issues in Science and Technology (Spring 2016: 29-32)
Judith Benz-Schwarzburg & Arianna Ferrari

Abstract:
Kurzversion erschienen auf Slate



2016

A speaking piglet advertises beef: an ethical analysis on objectification and anthropomophism

in Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

Madelaine Leitsberger, Judith Benz-Schwarzburg, Herwig Grimm

Abstract:

The portrayal of animals in the media is often criticised for instrumentalising, objectifying and anthropomorphising animals (e.g. Hirschman & Sanders 1997; Lerner & Kalof 1999; Stewart & Cole 2009). Although we agree with this criticism, we also identify the need for a more substantiated approach to the moral significance of instrumentalisation, objectification and anthropomorphism. Thus, we propose a new framework which is able to address the morally relevant aspects of animal portrayal in the media. We closely examine the normative messages communicated by an unusual TV commercial in which an anthropomorphised piglet advertises organic beef. This serves as a case example to relate the philosophical and ethical concepts of objectification and anthropomorphism to each other and show how they can be applied. We conclude that the commercial conveys a message of animal instrumentalisation as being normatively correct within the constraint of good animal welfare. The depicted form of instrumentalisation is, nonetheless, associated with harm for the animals and thus, needs to overcome cognitive dissonance. To achieve this, animals are directly objectified by a trivialised and de-individualised portrayal. Moreover, animals are indirectly objectified even when they are anthropomorphised as they are granted significance only through being human-like. Thus, objectification and anthropomorphism are not opposing terms in our proposed framework. In addition, objectification, together with the reference to the dominant ideology, and combined with humorous anthropomorphism weakens scrutiny of these normative messages by the viewers. This eventually augments a decrease of moral concern for farmed animals in advertisement employing such portrayals.



2016

Sind wir auf den Hund gekommen und haben das Schwein vergessen?

in Sublin/mes
Judith Benz-Schwarzburg



2013

Interview

in Universitätsradio Tübingen "Unimax" (gesendet am 24. November 2013)



2012

Driving the Great Apes to Extinction: Perspectives from Conservation Biology, Politics and Bioethics.

in Albert Somit und Steven A. Peterson (Hrsg.): Biopolicy: The Life Sciences and Public Policy. Reihe Research in Biopolitics, Vol. 10. Bingley, U.K: Emerald Books.
Judith Benz-Schwarzburg, Benz, Sophia

Abstract:
This chapter addresses the great apes’ fatal situation in the wild by integrating perspectives from conservation biology, conflict research and bioethics. We introduce the animals’ red list status and describe habitat destruction and bushmeat commerce as main threats to their survival. In a case study, we summarize the complex context in which great ape extinction takes place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Here we focus on a third threatening factor which is interlinked with habitat destruction and bushmeat commerce but which has so far largely been neglected within the literature on conservation biology as well as in conflict research: armed conflict. We show that some characteristics of so-called “New Wars” are apparent in the DRC and that they directly or indirectly impact the great apes’ situation. Because the human role in the animals’ extinction is so severe and so obvious, we finally conclude with some ethical consequences. We argue that conservation policy has to include insights from conflict research. Likewise, peacemaking has to address ecological consequences of warfare. Secondly, animal ethics (the welfare as well as the rights approach), has to acknowledge the severity of the situation of the great apes in the wild. Thirdly, implications for the human-animal relationship and the human identity come into play. What does it mean for us and for coming generations if our next relatives are going to be extinct one day?



2012

Tierphilosophie: perfekt strukturiert – gründlich differenziert (Kommentar zu Markus Wilds Artikel Tierphilosophie)

in Erwägen. Wissen. Ethik 3 (2011).
Judith Benz-Schwarzburg.



2012

Verwandte im Geiste - Fremde im Recht: Sozio-kognitive Fähigkeiten bei Tieren und ihre Relevanz für Tierethik und Tierschutz

in Reihe Tierrechte-Menschenpflichten. Erlangen: Harald Fischer.
Judith Benz-Schwarzburg



2011

Cognitive Relatives yet Moral Strangers?

in Journal of Animal Ethics 2011; 1(1): 9-36.
Judith Benz-Schwarzburg, Andrew Knight

Abstract:
This article provides an empirically based, interdisciplinary approach to the following two questions: Do animals possess behavioral and cognitive characteristics such as culture, language, and a theory of mind? And if so, what are the implications, when long-standing criteria used to justify differences in moral consideration between humans and animals are no longer considered indisputable? One basic implication is that the psychological needs of captive animals should be adequately catered for. However, for species such as great apes and dolphins with whom we share major characteristics of personhood, welfare considerations alone may not suffice, and consideration of basic rights may be morally warranted—as for humans. Although characteristics supporting the status of personhood are present to differing degrees among the diverse array of animal species, this is a barrier to moral consideration only if anthropocentric, exclusive, and monolithic viewpoints about the necessary prerequisites for personhood are applied. We examine the flaws inherent within such positions and argue for inalienable species-appropriate rights.



2011

Was fehlt uns, wenn die Großen Menschenaffen aussterben?

in László Kovács, Thomas Potthast, Jens Clausen (Hrsg.): Darwin und die Bioethik. Eve-Marie Engels zum 60. Geburtstag. Karl Alber Verlag.
Judith Benz-Schwarzburg.



2010

Great Apes and New Wars

in Civil Wars 12/4. S. 395-430.
Sophia Benz, Judith Benz-Schwarzburg.

Abstract:
In this article, we ask how far armed conflicts in the Virunga Region directly and indirectly contribute to the extinction of the Great Apes and the critically endangered Mountain Gorilla in specific. We introduce the conflict situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the concept of ‘New Wars’ in order to identify mechanisms linking armed conflict with the situation of these animals. Contrary to prior research, our empirical analysis draws a more complete and up-to-date picture. Latest available data on the animals’ distribution and Red List Status are combined with new (geographically disaggregated) conflict data that include low-level as well non-state fighting. We conclude with some policy implications.



2008

Theory of Mind bei Mensch und Tier

in Dirk Evers und Niels Weidtmann (Hrsg.): Kognition und Verhalten. Theory of Mind, Zeit, Imagination, Vergessen, Altruismus (Interdisziplinäre Forschungsarbeiten am Forum Scientiarum Band 1). Berlin: LIT, S. 1-50.
Judith Benz-Schwarzburg, Linda Braun, Alexander Ecker, Tobias Kobitzsch, Christian Lücking.



2008

Vom menschlichen Umgang mit anderen Lebewesen. Ein Essay zur Aktualität und Problematik der Ethik der Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben

in ALTEX Alternatives to Animal Experimentation 1/2008, S. 63-66.
Judith Benz-Schwarzburg.

Abstract:
Die oberste Maxime des egalitären Biozentrismus von Albert Schweitzer, „Ich bin Leben, das leben will inmitten von Leben, das leben will”, führt im Umgang mit Tieren immer wieder in ethische Dilemmata – etwa, wenn es um die Durchführung von Tierversuchen geht. Wenn dem Menschen die Notwendigkeit, Leben zu vernichten und zu schädigen auferlegt ist, dann stellt sich die Frage, wie sich die Ethik der Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben dagegen behaupten kann. Wir lösen ethische Konfliktsituationen häufig mit Kompromissen, um die in langen Diskussionen gerungen wird und die uns häufig mit einem Unbehagen zurücklassen. Anhand eines Beispiels zweier Biologen, die beide die ethische Notwendigkeit der von ihnen durchgeführten Tierversuche gleich einschätzen, sich zu ihrem Handeln aber dennoch unterschiedlich positionieren, soll diesem Unbehagen nachgegangen werden. Dabei zeigt sich, dass Schweitzers Ethik, obwohl sie sich stellenweise in problematische Formulierungen verirrt, dennoch dahingehend an Aktualität besitzt, dass sie uns auch nach einer ethischen Vertretbarkeitsprüfung noch nicht aus der Verantwortung entlässt. Sie betont das besondere Solidaritätsverhältnis zwischen Mensch und Tier und eröffnet Argumentationsraum für Wiedergutmachungsgedanken und Bemühungen um Alternativmethoden.



2007

Kognitive Fähigkeiten bei Tieren und ihre Relevanz für Tierethik und Tierschutz

in Deutsche Veterinärmedizinischen Gesellschaft e.V. (DVG) (Hg.): Tagung der DVG-Fachgruppe „Tierschutz“ (Tagungsband zur 12. Internationalen Fachtagung „Tierschutz in Rechtsetzung und Vollzug“ in Nürtingen vom 8.-9. März 2007, veranstaltet von der Fachgruppe „Tierschutz“ der DVG in Zusammenarbeit mit der Tierärztlichen Vereinigung für Tierschutz (TVT) und der Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Umwelt Nürtingen-Geislingen). Gießen: Verlag der DVG Service GmbH.
Judith Benz-Schwarzburg