The Journal of Ethics

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 403–433

Of Mice and Men: Equality and Animals

Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10892-005-3509-x

Cite this article as:
Vallentyne, P. J Ethics (2005) 9: 403. doi:10.1007/s10892-005-3509-x

Abstract

Can material Egalitarianism (requiring, for example, the significant promotion of fortune) include animals in the domain of the equality requirement? The problem can be illustrated as follows: If equality of wellbeing is what matters, and normal mice are included in this egalitarian requirement, then normal mice have a much stronger claim to resources than almost any human. This is because normal mice have a much stronger claim to resources than almost any human. This is because their wellbeing is much lower than that of normal humans. Thus, equality of wellbeing requires a massive shift of resources away from most humans to mice. This view, however, seems crazy. I explore this problem and propose a solution.

Key words

animalscapacitiesegalitarianismequalitymoral standingpotentialspecies-neutralityspeciesismwellbeing

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaUSA