Introduction to Animal Welfare Ethics
Facts= concern what is the case
Ethics= concern what ought to be done
I.E. Questions about what the welfare of an animal is are empirical. Questions about what the welfare of an animal ought to be are ethical.
In a scientific research setting, this translates to what you may be doing when you are engaged in the use of animals in research e.g. mice used in research.
Some argue that all decisions we make in daily life have an ethical content. Decisions have to be made daily in scientific practice and research. It is better to reflect on the issues rather than make rash decisions on the hoof.
Humans are unique in possessing sentinence and rationality. Animals are complex machines without thoughts or feelings. Animals actions are mechanistic (animals cannot feel and cannot think).