The Minds and Interests of Animals
Ethical individualism, the view defended here, gains its inspiration from the theory of evolution, which undermines belief in the special status of human beings. Differences between humans and other-than-human animals are differences in degree, not in kind. Other animals, too, are conscious individuals, many possessing even conative and cognitive abilities. They are sentient, which means they can be caused pain and made to suffer. Like humans, they have biological as well as conative interests and a life that can be better or worse for them, and they deserve to be treated and given consideration in accordance with their particular characteristics.