Kant claimed that human beings have no duties to animals because they are not autonomous ends in themselves. I argue that Kant was wrong to exclude animals from the realm of moral consideration. Animals, although they do not set their own ends and thus cannot be regarded as ends in themselves, do have ends that are given to them by nature. As beings with ends, they stand between mere things that have no ends, and rational beings that are ends in themselves. I propose a broader version of Kant's kingdom of ends, in which rational beings respect the ends of all other beings that have them, including animals. The moral status of animals would still be dependent on the existence of rational beings, but our duty to take their ends into account would be a direct duty to them, rather than being a covert duty to human beings.
Kendrick, Heather M.
"Animals in the Kingdom of Ends,"
Between the Species:
10, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bts/vol13/iss10/2