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


Chapman & Huffman argue that, because humans are neither unique nor superior to the other animals, cruelty to animals is not justified. Though I agree with their conclusion, I do not think their argument works. Many human beings do have some capacities that animals do not have and are greater in some respects, in the sense of having superior abilities. It is a better argument to deny that any of that is morally relevant. Sentience suffices for moral consideration, and for deriving a moral duty not to harm other animals and to assist them when they are in need.

Author Biography

Eze Paez conducts research on what we owe to nonhuman animals from a variety of moral perspectives, including act- and rule-consequentialism, as well as Kantian ethics. He is especially interested in the wrongness of killing animals and our reasons for alleviating wild animal suffering. Website