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date: 12 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines basic interests that animals have in liberty—the absence of external constraints on movement. It takes liberty to be a benefit for sentient animals that permits them to pursue what they want and need. Obviously farms, zoos, pets in homes, animals for sale in stores, circuses, and laboratories all involve forms of confinement that restrict liberty. The discussion aims to know the conditions, if there are any, under which such liberty-limitation is morally justified. It first lays out the harms caused by confinement. It then examines and evaluates five possible standards for the justification of confinement: a basic-needs requirement; a comparable-life requirement; a no-unnecessary-harm standard; a worthwhile-life criterion; and an appeal to respect.

Keywords: free animals, animal liberty, animal confinement, liberty-limitation

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