Teutsch GM. Man and his fellow-creatures under ethical aspects. ALTEX. 2005;22(4):199-226

PMID: 16344905


It is for reasons of age I will have to terminate my work at the Literary Review in the form developed since 1995. The report is being reduced to a concentration of ethically relevant reviews as exemplified in the fourth-quarter issue of ALTEX. This is to ascertain that essential developments in this field will not be overlooked. Insofar, the Literary Review will be continued under the heading "New literature concerning topics of animal ethics". The more central topics of animal ethics are being "used up" the more new questions are being formulated. Thus it was that during the last few years the plant-world, long neglected, was rediscovered and received attention through the publication of important works. Another recent discovery concerns itself with "cognitive ethology" which developed out of the critique of behaviourism and which is dealt with in a separate chapter in this issue. But there is also a "classic" of ethics who has been reviewed and interpreted anew repeatedly. In her book "Albert Schweitzer, a prophet of medical ethics", Heike Baranzke describes Schweitzer's ethics as not sentimental or nostalgic but rather as a radically modern stance, committed to the enlightenment. Manuel Schneider, also, conveys a comprehensive view of Albert Schweitzer's ethics in "Life in the middle of life - the relevance of the ethics of Albert Schweitzer", a book edited by Altner, Frambach, Gottwald and himself in 2005. For this, in particular, he derives a possibility of a physiocentric ethics. By contrast, Beate Weinzierl approaches Schweitzer on a complete personal and human level in "Yearning for nature - access to inner and outer nature with Albert Schweitzer". Wolfgang Senz is undertaking a critical appreciation of Albert Schweitzer's concept of "life" and this, foremost, in the light of Schweitzer's rejection of the Cartesian "I am". In the end, Jean Claude Wolf cannot manage without citing Schweitzer either, referring to him in his not accepting the (western) world's excessive meat consumption as a "cruel necessity". Klaus Peter Joern also enters into Schweitzer's fundamental argumentation in his "A good bye to the disparagement of our fellow creatures". Quotation: "It just cannot go on that Christianity lets the validity of the commandment of love end at the behaviour towards humans, simply because that is the tradition. We rather have to, in this instance, deny the authority of the Bible it's due respect, as this has deemed Schweitzer already inevitable." The killing of animals, irrespective of the motives, remains a critical issue in the understanding (or the lack thereof) with regard to the dignity of all creation. Manuela Linnemann, Charles Patterson, Evelyn Ofensberger and the German Veterinary Association for the Protection of Animals have dealt with this issue extensively. As always, more space is taken up by publications dealing with legal questions and developments. In particular, the conference report of the Protestant Academy at Bad Boll should be mentioned "Animal protection on good constitution". Contributions to this report, edited by the academy, include Hans Georg Kluge's "The governmental aim 'animal protection' and it's implementation in jurisdiction" and Johannes Caspar's "effects of the governmental goal 'animal protection' in the protected area of unconditional fundamental rights". Regarding animal experiments, the last two position papers commissioned by the Foundation for animal-free research (FFVFF), dealing with perspectives of 3R research, have been published within the period of time covered by this report. Alternatives in basic research (with once again rising numbers of experimental animals) and in biomedical education are the themes dealt with by Franz P. Gruber and his co-authors Thomas Hartung and David Dewhurst.

Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation