The Journal of Ethics

, Volume 9, Issue 3–4, pp 403–433

Of Mice and Men: Equality and Animals

Article

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

animals capacities egalitarianism equality moral standing potential species-neutrality speciesism wellbeing 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaUSA

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