Commentary Type

Open Commentary


David M. Peña-Guzmán, Can nonhuman animals commit suicide?


Peña-Guzmán’s depiction of the opponent of animal suicide as a conservative is a straw man. It is possible to accept that animals are self-conscious and reflexive yet still reject the view that they have the mental wherewithal to commit run-of-the-mill suicide. That animal behaviour can be positioned on a continuum of self-destructive behaviour does not establish that animals can intentionally kill themselves.

Author Biography

John Hadley, senior lecturer in philosophy, Western Sydney University, has published on a wide range of topics in animal ethics and political theory. Animal Property Rights: A Theory of Habitat Rights for Wild Animals (Lexington 2015) explores the theoretical and practical challenges of extending liberal property rights theory to nonhuman animals.