Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
THE CASE FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS
Introduction: How to proceed? We begin by asking how the moral status of animals has been understood by thinkers who deny that animals have rights. Then we test the mettle of their ideas by seeing how well they stand up under the heat of fair criticism. If we start our thinking in this way we soon find that some people believe that we have no duties directly to animals, that we owe nothing to them that we can do nothing that wrongs them. Rather we can do wrong acts that involve animals and so we have duties regarding them though none to them. Such views may be called indirect duty views. By way of illustration suppose your neighbor kicks your dog. Then your neighbor has done something wrong, but not to your dog. The wrong that has been done is a wrong to you. After all it is wrong to upset people and your neighbor's kicking your dog upsets you so you are the one who is wronged not your dog Or again by kicking your dog your neighbor damages your property. And since it is wrong to damage another person's property, your neighbor has done something wrong to you, of course, not to your dog. Your neighbor no more wrongs your dog than your car would be wronged if the windshield were smashed. Your neighbor's duties involving your dog are indirect duties to you. More generally, all of our duties regarding animals are indirect duties to one another to humanity.
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