Colgate University Libraries


Alison Kimble


Human and non-human animals’ (henceforth referred to as animals) interests come into conflict every day. It is a common intuition that when given a choice between the wellbeing of a human and the wellbeing of an animal, it is morally imperative to prefer the human over the animal. How can we justify our intuition that we should subordinate animal interests to human interests?

There are many accounts of the moral difference between humans and animals that attempt to justify our intuition. They identify various grounds for preferring interests, and tie them to the moral value of a being, the weight of a being’s interests, and what a being is owed: duties and rights. Once the difference in moral value, weight of interests, duties, or rights between humans and animals is clear, our preference for human interests can be vindicated.