I read with interest the discussion about Ronald Dworkin’s ideas about values and rights. A few days ago CNN had a story about a Danish zoo that had put to death one of its healthy giraffes. As I understood it, the zoo runs a breeding program in which this particular giraffe did not fit in. So for the good of the over-all program, the animal was euthanized. Various values were discussed, including the value that animals should be treated well while they are alive and living at the zoo; so they were reluctant to transfer the animal to some other zoos. Still, the giraffe did not in their view have an inherent right to life that would trump their breeding program. I found it interesting that the anchor, Anderson Cooper, was not not so sure the giraffe didn’t have that right. Presumably we humans feel we have such an inherent right, but on what is it grounded? There does seem to be reference to a transcendent value, at least for now.
Feb 13 2014 - 6:25pm