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Animal interests

animals-interest-not-suffering

There are many nonhuman animals who can feel pleasure and pain. This is because, like humans, they are able to have experiences. Many experiences are neutral, that is, they are not positive or negative, as when we see something we don’t particularly like or dislike. However, there are other experiences that are not neutral, but rather are positive or negative. They can differ... Read more
 

Close up of baby blue turtle on the sand

Why nonhuman animals have an interest in life It is sometimes claimed that although sentient nonhuman animals have an interest in not suffering, they do not have an interest in living. But the fact is that many nonhuman animals can have positive and negative experiences. The positive experiences nonhuman animals can have can be of different sorts. In some cases they are simple... Read more
 

Group of ladybugs on a leaf

All beings who can have positive and negative experiences have an interest in being positively affected and in not being negatively affected. In other words, they have an interest in having their wellbeing maximized and their suffering minimized. Sentient animals, therefore, have an interest in not suffering and in being able to enjoy their lives. Being able to enjoy their lives... Read more
 

Group of zebras walking

There are a number of environmentalist positions that oppose granting equal respect to all sentient beings. The reasoning used to justify these views may vary widely because environmentalist perspectives disagree about which components of the natural world should be most morally considerable and thus worthy of respect. Some views claim that ecosystems, rather than sentient beings,... Read more
 

Deer walking through a forest

One view that is often defended by environmentalists is that we should care primarily about ecosystems or biocenoses, and that we should be ready to sacrifice individuals for the sake of them. A biocenosis is the sum of all the living entities in a certain area or ecosystem. Ecosystems are systems which consist of biocenoses and the non-living entities present in the areas where... Read more
 

Ape under heavy rain

It is often believed that species should be considered and preserved because they have some sort of value in themselves, a value unrelated to what’s in the best interests of the individuals who are members of the species. It may be reasoned that species preservation should be supported because defending species means defending all the members of the species. But if we were to... Read more
 

Two deers touch noses in the snow

The section on animal sentience presents several compelling arguments all of which conclude that many nonhuman animals are sentient. In addition, Animal interests shows why the interests of sentient nonhuman animals cannot be considered to have less weight than humans’ interests. Implicit in both conclusions is the further conclusion that being sentient is morally important. The... Read more
 

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