SPECIESISM AND EQUALITY OF ANIMALS

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L. Allan (2015). Animal Rights and the Wrongness of Killing has represented the logic behind the widely held belief that there are differences between killing a person and killing an animal. The thesis further stresses the development of a utilitarian-oriented paradigm as opposed to standard methods that might demarcate the severity of killing based on differences of sentience. The major points raised in the work are often representative of critique for the dualist model of utilitarianism exemplified by Peter Singer in the light of speciesism and animal equality. The author has provided substantial evidence to support the arguments presented in the published work. Discussion on animal rights and the proposition of value for the life of a particular species are provided by the author to demonstrate the anomalies observed in the standard utilitarian method for weighing the seriousness of killing a being of specific species. Depiction of utilitarian and non-utilitarian theories for rights and justice as well as critical reflection on the exclusion of animals from the context of defining ‘moral rights’ have been provided by the author as viable evidence for her arguments. The work of the author is also reflective of the utilization of mixed view of utilitarian principles to determine utility of specific populations or species and thereby their desirability can be determined.

I would be able to utilize the mixed view principles on utility for my research to study the rankings of homogenous populations, populations with negative utilities and non-homogenous populations. The rankings are made on the basis of moral desirability and hence can provide an account of the prominence of moral desirability of a particular species in context of speciesism. The discussion on loss of utility in event of loss of lives as well as the references to extinction of species in case of preference utilitarianism could be helpful for determining the outcomes for the research question. Critical review of Peter Singer’s take on speciesism presented in the publication could also assist the research activity through information on demarcation of value according to consciousness of an individual being as well as ethical aspects of speciesism.

Schmidtz, D. (1998). Are all species equal?. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 15(1), 57-67

The author has reviewed species egalitarianism considering its impact on the equality of moral standing of all species. The moral standing referred to by the view of species egalitarianism has been compared with the argument of Paul Taylor alongside explaining the respect commanded by all species and the disparities in respect commanded by different species. The critique of Paul Taylor’s theory was based on the rejection of different points in the four core beliefs of biocentric outlook presented by Taylor has been presented and the author aims to underpin the assumptions drawn forward from the theory.

The view of the author on the species egalitarianism theory presented in the work has been supported by evidence of critical argument pertaining to equality of species. The requirement of egalitarianism among species requires avoidance of mortal combat situations, limited authority to kill for satiation of basic needs and ambiguity over which species is killed. Contradictions between the moral implications of killing an animal and killing a vegetable can be observed as prominent setbacks of species egalitarianism presented by the author to support his argument. Critical comparisons of vegetative capacity and cognitive capacity as the determinants of species equality on the basis of moral standing are also accounted in the literature to support the drawbacks of species egalitarianism.

The contributions of the work of David Schmidtz for my research work would be primarily derived from the arguments placed in support of speciesism. Acquisition of diverse opinions on speciesism comprising of debates placed by academics such as William French would be helpful in forming an impression of the role of vulnerability over superiority as a determinant of species equality. The notable outcomes which can be used from the publication for resolving the research question would be from the reflection on the three distinct elements of our essence, specifying the factors demarcating humans from other species equality and observing the implications of moral standing.

Roberts, T., Moser, M., LePan, D., Gaunce, J., & Buzzard, L. (Eds.). (2011). The Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose. Broadview Press.

The work of Peter Singer has been renowned as a prominent contribution to the behavioural change of many people as compared to any other writer. The author has presented an illustrated view of speciesism with profound references to the equal consideration of interests and the similarities between speciesism and racism as well as sexism. The proliferation of concerns for speciesism has been noticed in observations of practice by the author as a result of the torment to which animals are subjected for experimental purposes and food.

The evidence presented by Singer to depict the similarities between the ideologies of racism, sexism and speciesism was in the definition of the impact of interests in each of these. Racism involves consideration of interests of individuals belonging to same race while in sexism the consideration of interests is inclined towards the same sex. Similarly, speciesism also involves the consideration of interests of the same species. Furthermore, the illustration of speciesism in practice, as presented by the author, reflect on the arguments of peter singer to address the concerns of developing speciesism among humans and its detrimental impact on other species.

The published work of Peter Singer could assist in my research activity by providing me a lucid impression of the practical application of speciesism. This could help me in collating the practical observations of speciesism with the facets of moral standing as well as theories pertaining to species inequality for determining the long term consequences of improvement in speciesism among humans.

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