Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No Animals in Business Ethics

I'm taking a class this summer in Business Ethics and I just started chapter 1 of my textbook. It talks about the evolution of business ethics starting in the early 20th century.

One of the main issues in business ethics involves environmental protection. All the other issues cited either have to do with professional ethics or some sort of human condition. But nothing about animals. I'm guessing that animals are included in environmental protection, but really, the issue of animals is a separate issue than environmental protection. A lab can control its disposal of medical waste so as not to pollute streams while it's still testing its new cosmetic or drug on a rabbit's eyes.

And really, there are a lot of animal issues in the business world. Product testing on animals, products made from animal material, meat, eggs, dairy, fur, exotic pet trade, pet sales, pet supplies, veterinarian care, etc.

So, here's a another area of study that needs some prodding to address animal issues. I know they do it in medical it should be business ethics.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


The ethical treatment of animals should be considered to be an integral part of business ethics in cases where business operations involve substantial interaction with animals.

I think that part of the reason why other factors, such as the environment and labor relations have been getting more attention in the business related media is that these are issues which effect virtually every industry.

Ethical treatment of animals, on the other hand, is certainly relevant to industries in agriculture, pharmaceuticals, health care and other industries which produce animal related products, but is not relevant to industries whose operations do not involve a significant degree of interaction with animals.

Animal rights may not be as trendy as the environment, but I do not see them as any less important where business operations involve significant interaction with animals.



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