equal consideration of interests, extended beyond the human species, has practical implications. Meanwhile, back at the research station, scientists are trying out methods of raising lambs indoors, in wire cages. Some objections, this book is not the first occasion on which I have put forward the position for which I have argued in this chapter. The capacity for suffering - or more strictly, for suffering and/or enjoyment or happiness - is not just another characteristic like the capacity for language, or for higher mathematics. Some have found it difficult to accept that the differences between us and the other animals are differences of degree rather meeting at night than kind.
The use of animals for food is probably the oldest and the most widespread form of animal use. But some philosophers have argued that these consequences would not really follow from the use of a characteristic like self-consciousness or autonomy to distinguish humans from other animals. You cannot evade responsibility by imitating beings who are incapable of making this choice. The same goes for infants and very young children; but journalism Ethics the problems of the contractual view are not limited to these 'marginal cases'. If we make a distinction between animals and these humans, how can we do it, other than on the basis of a morally indefensible preference for members of our own species? The decision to cease giving them that support may be difficult, but it is less difficult than it would have been for a white Southerner to go against the traditions of his society and free his slaves; if we do not change our dietary habits. This introduces non-utilitarian claims of value - claims which do not derive simply from taking a universal standpoint in the manner described in the final section of Chapter. The overwhelming weight of medical evidence indicates that animal flesh is not necessary for good health or longevity. If this bias were eliminated the number of experiments performed on animals would be greatly reduced. Of course some people may have a closer relationship with the most gravely retarded human than they do with any nonhuman animal, and it would be absurd to tell them that they should not feel this way.
Equality on Animals