The Moral Impermissibility of the Exotic Animal Café

Isabella Braga
Volume 2 Issue 2 Pages 1-8
First Published: March 30, 2020



The moral standing and rights of animals have been widely debated in the field of bioethics, with scholars such as Peter Singer and Shelly Kagan diverging on how, why, and to what magnitude animals’ rights should be acknowledged. However, these debates have not yet adequately addressed the welfare of a growing population of vulnerable animals within wild and exotic animal cafés. This paper addresses the issue of animal rights in a wild animal café context, with an emphasis on Singer’s principle of equal consideration of interests. Specifically, in this paper, I will examine the intrinsic harms of animal cafés, their negative externalities, and the moral standing of these animals, to show that wild animal cafés are impermissible in their current form. This paper argues that animal cafés’ harms violate the rights of animals, and thus warrant tightened regulation and, in the case of wild and exotic animal cafés, potential closure. In conclusion, this paper, by closely examining the moral status of animals in the wild and exotic animal café context, sheds new light on the oft-neglected issue of animal rights protections in cafés.


Key words

Animal rights, moral standing, animal welfare, animal café, principle of equal consideration of interests