Defenses of speciesism

29 Jun 2017

This text examines and questions the view s of those theorists have argued in defense of speciesism. Read more

Moral intuitions and biases

13 Mar 2017

The appeal to intuitions shouldn’t lead us to accept speciesism or other questionable moral views. Read more

The argument from relevance

11 Apr 2014

Respecting someone means taking their wellbeing into account, and in order to be taken into account, sentience is what matters. Any other condition would be irrelevant to the question of whether one’s wellbeing should be considered. Other conditions may be relevant for something else (for instance, having certain intellectual capacities certainly appears to be relevant for being admitted to a university). But they are not relevant for being taken into account when what is at stake is wellbeing. Read more

Virtue ethics and care ethics

25 Mar 2014

The virtue ethics approach defends the notion that ethics is about the kind of person we are, more than about what we do. Care ethicists claim that the basis for our ethical concerns should be our emotional responses to them. Read more


25 Mar 2014
Close up of insect perched on tip of thin grass-like plant

Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that defends that we should act in ways that bring about as much happiness as possible in the world. Read more

Rights theories: Different positions

25 Mar 2014
Group of turtles climb out the edge of a pond while some sit on a log

Moral rights are conceived of as rights that individuals are born with and have regardless of whether or not they have legal rights to protect them. Read more


25 Mar 2014

Egalitarianism is an ethical theory that defends that a situation is best if the happiness present in that situation is distributed as equally as possible. […] Read more


25 Mar 2014

Contractarian principles are based on what we would accept in a scenario in which there aren’t yet any accepted moral or political principles. Read more

The argument from impartiality

25 Mar 2014
Dozens of chickens stacked on top of each other in small cages

The argument from impartiality claims that if we considered the treatment of animals impartially, we would not accept treating them worse than humans. Read more

The argument from species overlap

25 Mar 2014
Black horse walks in field with her child

Those who consider it legitimate to treat nonhuman animals unfavorably based on their capacities cannot defend equal treatment of all humans. Read more

Arguments against speciesism

25 Mar 2014

The question of whether or not we should favor the interests of humans over those of nonhuman animals is at the core of animal ethics. The view that we should favor human interests has been criticized as speciesist. Read more

Negative consequentialism

25 Mar 2014
Close-up of fish being dragged with a hook in its mouth underwater

According to negative consequentialism, the need to reduce suffering as much as possible must always take priority over anything else. Read more

Rights theories: the general approach

25 Mar 2014
Close-up of calf lying down in the grass

In ethics, “rights” is shorthand for “moral rights,” but in Law, it’s shorthand for something else. In the legal system, individuals enjoy legal rights. Legal rights also protect the interests of individuals, but legal rights and moral rights are different things. Read more

Different ethical theories

19 Mar 2014

There are many different ethical theories. One feature the most widely accepted ones have in common is that they support the moral consideration of animals. Read more

Ethical theories and nonhuman animals

19 Mar 2014
Cows fenced in a small space, close together

Ethics is a critical reflection on how we should act and why. Animal ethics is the field of ethics that deals with how and why […] Read more

Begging the question

18 Mar 2014

Arguments that beg the question, also known as circular arguments, have trivial conclusions because the premises assume what they are claiming to prove. To put it another way:  we can’t be convinced of something by an appeal to a premise we can’t accept. Read more


7 Jan 2014
Sheep looks through the bars of cage

Speciesism is a form of discrimination – discrimination against those who don’t belong to a certain species. Speciesism is giving different sentient beings differing moral consideration for unjust reasons. Read more