“The pleasures arising from thinking and learning will make us think and learn all the more”
-Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics
Welcome to the SVME 12 Topics pages!
The 12 Topics Project was formed to engage our members in focused and thoughtful deliberation over
difficult ethical issues important to them. In keeping with our mission “to promote discussion and
debate about ethical issues arising in and relevant to veterinary practice”, our project aims to increase
the understanding of the philosophical, social, moral, and ethical values encountered by the veterinary
Each Topic, nominated and voted on by SVME members, will have a Title page, a Resource page, and an
Interactive Forum page for discussion of each issue. Feel free to navigate through each of the tabs/links
and familiarize yourself with each topic and use the site as you see fit. However, we recommend reading
the Title piece in order to gain a shared understanding of terms, concepts and arguments presented
before entering the topic’s dedicated forum.
The 12 Topics pages are hosted by the SVME and are intended to provide information and supplemental
learning tools to professionals and students interested in veterinary ethics. They are not designed to
answer questions regarding specific clinical, legal, professional, or ethical cases.
Topic Selection - SVME members will be notified of upcoming nomination and voting rounds. Any
member is welcome and encouraged to nominate and vote for topics they would like to see included in
the 12 Topics Project.
Author Selection - Topic specialists and authors will be drawn from both inside and outside of the
veterinary field. They may be general practitioners with a special interest or experience with the topic,
or they may be national/world leaders in academics, veterinary ethics, or have relevant interdisciplinary
credentials. Veterinary ethics and animal ethics have significant implications for many professions, and it
is our hope to promote interdisciplinary dialogue by welcoming all related professionals and students,
worldwide to participate in this project.
Title Pages – Each topic has a dedicated Title page with a Title piece, links to that topic’s resource page
and that topic’s dedicated forum. The original Title pieces recruited for this project are meant to be
introductory for each topic, meaning that they are fair, balanced, and thorough representations of major
points/counterpoints surrounding difficult or complex issues. They are not opinion pieces and should
(ideally) not contain normative assertions. We have intentionally presented the Title pieces in this
manner to encourage members to thoroughly explore each topic in a non-biased manner, and to
thoughtfully and deliberatively engage with the issues and evidence presented. We understand that
some members (fairly) believe that any platform should be used for advocacy. However, we maintain
that this project and our educational mission is best served by providing impartial introductory Title
pieces. Each original Title piece is copyrighted by the author and subject to such restrictions (see SVMA
Resource Pages - Our resource page for each topic provides links to supplemental materials including a
balance of relevant moral theory, applied ethics, empirical studies, legislation, and applicable
perspectives from different areas of study. Because ethics is an interdisciplinary venture, we want to
include a variety of perspectives across the natural and social sciences and humanities. Resource links
are not held to the impartial standard of the Title pieces, and some may include strong opinions, beliefs,
and normative assertions, all of which are welcome as a launching point for discussion. We will build on
the resource pages with any new studies or changing context relevant to each topic. We welcome any
resource suggestions to enrich our common understanding of each issue.
Discussion/Forum Page - A discussion forum link will be available for each topic as it is
posted. The forums are intended to share opinions, stories, perspectives, and experiences that will allow
SVME members to engage in rich discussion and debate for each topic. All forums will be moderated by
administrators in order to provide a safe space for interested professionals and students to ask and
answer questions on these subjects in a respectful manner.