Many people say that violence is wrong, and that violence is only morally justified under extreme circumstances. But what about violence towards animals? On any common definition of 'violence', animals are treated violently when they are raised and killed to be eaten, or experimented on for medical research or used for other purposes that, arguably, harm them. What, if anything, then would justify this violence? In this course, we will explore a range of answers to these questions, given by influential philosophers, scientists and advocates on all sides. Topics include: theories of ethics, animal minds, and ethical issues concerning the uses of animals for food, clothing, experimentation, entertainment, hunting, as companions or pets, and other purposes. Students will write a number of short papers that develop positions on theoretical and practice issues concerning ethics and animals, giving reasons for their support, or defending themselves from possible objections and criticisms. Students will watch a variety of documentary films and likely take field trips to meet with experts to address ethical issues at places such as the Atlanta Humane Society, Zoo Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium, Morehouse School of Medicine, and a local animal farm and /or sanctuary. We will also likely some guest speakers from local animal advocacy groups, such as The Humane League and the Atlanta Black Vegetarian Society.