Environmental Philosophy, Lecture six
Animal ethics is a branch of philosophical (normative) ethics which is closely related to environmental ethics. The main questions discussed in animal ethics are:
- Are animals normatively speaking equal to humans?
- Are animals moral-agents, -patients, both or neither?
- Are animals persons?
- Do we assign different moral capacity and value to wild or domesticated animals?
- Are there descriptive differences between the parties?
- Ought we assign different value between the parties?
In his article “All Animals Are Equal”, Perter Singer want his readers to extend fundamental (human) equality to non-human animals. Singer compares our current treatment of animals to the oppression of non-whites and women in our own species’ history. Singer sees animals as moral patients and therefore deserving our equality of consideration.