In this article I want to construct in a simple and systematic way an ethical theory of animal equality. The goal is a consistent theory, containing a set of clear and coherent universalized ethical principles that best fits our strongest moral intuitions in all possible morally relevant situations that we can think of, without too many arbitrary elements. I demonstrate that impartiality with a level of risk aversion and empathy with a need for efficiency are two different approaches that both result in the same consequentialist principle of prioritarianism. Next, I discuss that this principle can be trumped by an ethic of care principle of tolerated partiality, and a deontological principle of basic right. These three principles represent different kinds of equality that can be applied to animal ethics. Finally, the predation problem leads to the introduction of a triple-N-principle that is related to the value of biodiversity.

Included in

Philosophy Commons