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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Buddhist tradition is justifiably known for its commitment to the primacy of ethical reflection. On the issue of nonhuman animals, the tradition-wide commitment to an undertaking to refrain from killing, known as the First Precept, offers a moving example of humans’ abilities to apply ethics to nonhuman animals on questions about animal protection for companion animals, food animals, entertainment animals, wildlife, and captive animals. Buddhist reflections on humans’ relationship to nonhuman animals, including questions of non-lethal harms, also have features that are illuminated, as is the First Precept, by a comparison with contemporary animal rights and animal protection debates.

Keywords: nonhuman animals, animal rights, killing, nonlethal harms, companion animals, captive animals, food animals, wildlife, entertainment animals

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