Animals want to live; however, whether they live or die is not for them to determine but for us humans. Animals exist for our sake, and any extension of concern or charity for them is any individual’s personal choice.

That’s not to say there are no rules for dealing with animals. It is insane to take pleasure in their suffering, like frying ants with a magnifying glass. Whenever an animal is deliberately killed, there must be some real purpose it.

But let’s take the puzzle posed by Robert Nozick, which I remember to be something like this. Suppose you have a bat which you want to swing. If you don’t swing, you will likely miss a good home run. If you do swing, then a thousand cows will die in some amount of pain. Is it Ok to swing the bat?

Suppose that the cows are unowned, so no one’s property is hurt.

Suppose also that the cows are on a distant planet, so they are not a useful resource that can be homesteaded.

Moreover, cows are not endangered, so the species will not be affected.

I think under these circumstances, it is permissible to swing the bat.

It seems therefore, that caring for (some) animals, if it is a perfection at all, is a metaphysical good not a moral one.

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