Animal Rights and Human Limitations

Mary Anne Warren

in Moral Status

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250401
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681295 | DOI:

Series: Issues in Biomedical Ethics

Animal Rights and Human Limitations

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This chapter discusses the moral status of nonhuman animals. It argues that theories of moral status based solely upon intrinsic properties imply that we must condemn as irrational all such differences between the treatment of animals that belong to different species, but that appear to be comparable in their mental and behavioural capacities. On the multi-criterial account, such differences often make good moral sense. There remains an uncomfortable tension between the Anti-Cruelty principle, which bids us hesitate before harming any sentient being, and the Ecological principle, which permits us to recognize overriding obligations to members of endangered plant and animal species, to the species themselves, and to the earth's ecosystems.

Keywords: moral status; moral rights; animal rights; nonhuman animals; Anti-Cruelty principle; Ecological principle

Chapter.  6660 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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