The moral consideration of nonhuman animals and the critique of speciesism have been defended by appeal to a variety of ethical theories. One of the main approaches in moral and political philosophy today from which to launch such a defense is egalitarianism, which is the view that we should aim at favoring the worse off by reducing inequality. This paper explains what egalitarianism is and shows the important practical consequences it has for nonhuman animals, both those that are exploited by humans and those in need of aid in the wild. Egalitarianism implies rejecting speciesism, and in practice it prescribes ceasing to exploit nonhuman animals as well as assisting them. Moreover, because they are worse off in comparison to humans, egalitarianism prescribes giving priority to the interests nonhuman animals. Due to this, egalitarianism gives us extra reasons to defend them beyond those entailed by other nonspeciesist approaches.
"Egalitarianism and Animals,"
Between the Species:
1, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bts/vol19/iss1/5