Practical Ethics By Peter Singer Defends A Pro-Animal Argument

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In his book Practical Ethics, Peter Singer defends a pro-animal argument. The goal of the argument is not to lower the status of humans, but to elevate the status of animals. He compares the belief that humans should always take precedence over issues about animals to the prejudice of slave owners against their slaves. He states that it is easy to look back and criticize the prejudices of the people who lived back then, but it is much harder to criticize ourselves, our beliefs, and whatever prejudices we may hold and actually try to change them. In his argument for animal rights, he first talks about equal consideration for the suffering of animals. “If a being suffers, there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration” (Singer, 50). I notice he doesn’t say that there can be no moral justification for causing suffering in certain circumstances, just that it should always be taken into consideration when dealing with sentient beings. If a being isn’t sentient, there is nothing to take into account. The purpose of giving equal…show more content…
She makes sure to note that in this case equality is not referring to treatment, but just to consideration of interests. For example, it would be silly to talk about a dog’s right to vote. According to her, just because the being doesn’t have rights, doesn’t necessarily mean their interests count for less than a being that does have rights. However, she rejects the notion of equality that Singer presents, that the suffering of one being be counted equally to the suffering of another regardless of the nature of the being. She states that “if we can find a significant difference in capabilities between human and non-human animals, this could serve to justify regarding human interests as primary” (Steinbock,
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