Who Should be Treated Etichally

Singer, Peter. "All Animals are Equal." Morality and moral controversies readings in moral, social, and political philosophy. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005. 146-55.

Peter Singer writes about the lack of morality we show to animals. He goes through the moral reasoning of why we should not treat members of other races or of other genders immorally. He gives ability to suffer as the key component for moral consideration and as the backbone for the moral treatment of all humans. He then suggests that since animals suffer they too should be treated with morality. He uses the “sanctity of life” view to establish that we don’t kill innocent humans and since there is no moral distinction between humans and animals this should also be applied to animals.

Steinbock, Bonnie. "Speciesim and the Idea of Equality." Morality and moral controversies readings in moral, social, and political philosophy. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005. 155-61.

Bonnie Steinbock writes a counter to Peter Singer’s stance. She states that there is a distinction between human life and nonhuman life, mainly just that it is human and also intelligent. She makes a point to agree with Singer that we should not try to cause “unnecessary pain or suffering” and then defines the idea of necessity. She sites that it is acceptable to favor one’s own race, religion, or even species over another as long as you don’t fail to act morally to the others.

Baxter, William F. "People or Penguins." Morality and moral controversies readings in moral, social, and political philosophy. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005. 161-65.

William F. Baxter takes a different approach on the view of why we treat humans differently from animals. He writes that humans should only care about human interests. He states that, by his criteria, the extinction of pine trees and penguins shouldn’t matter. He doesn’t care about mistreating nature unless this will affect humans. He acknowledges that this position is selfish but bases this acceptance on the fact that this is how most people behave. He says since only humans can act morally we should only act morally to other humans.

Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac (Outdoor Essays & Reflections). New York: Oxford UP, USA, 2001.

Aldo Leopold starts be showing how morality has “evolved” in acceptance of people outside of one’s spheres: race, gender, species. But says that the next step in morality is to start treating plats and even land morally, this is called land ethics. He points out that we need the land to survive and that we are part of the environment and thus cannot treat the world as if we ruled it by rather as if we needed it for our own species survival. He continues to write that we need to acknowledge that our actions have long lasting and complex consequences.

Naess, Arne. "Self-Realization: An Ecological Approach." Deep ecology movement an introductory anthology. Berkeley, Calif: North Atlantic Books, 1995. 13-30.

and

Naess, Arne. "The Shallow and the Deep, Long-Range Ecology Movement: A Summary." Deep ecology movement an introductory anthology. Berkeley, Calif: North Atlantic Books, 1995. 3-9.

Arne Naess is a Deep Ecologist. Deep Ecology tries to point out similar moral responsibilities as land ethics. They both show the problems with humans acting as if they owned the land, and that actions have long term effects that humans don’t factor into their economic plans. Deep Ecology says that humans are essentially gluttonous and that our population is not in check. Also that we have no rights in changing our surroundings past the point of vital needs to survive.

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