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The relevance of animal interests

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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