Colin A. Chapman and Michael A. Huffman, Why do we want to think humans are different?


We agree with Chapman & Huffman that human capacities are often assumed to be unique — or attempts are made to demonstrate uniqueness scientifically — in order to justify the exploitation of animals and ecosystems. To extend the argument that human exceptionalism is against our interests, we recommend adopting the One Welfare framework, according to which animal welfare, environmental sustainability and human wellbeing are inseparably linked. Let us distinguish ourselves from other animals by resisting our short- and mid-term Darwinian inclinations, consuming less, reproducing less, and striving for a much longer-term biological fitness for us all.

Author Biography

Anne Fawcett is a veterinarian and lecturer in veterinary science. She is a Member of the Australian New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists and Diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Medicine (Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law). Website

Paul McGreevy is a veterinarian and ethologist. He is Professor of Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare Science at the University of Sydney’s School of Veterinary Science. Website