The difference between pain and suffering

I find it surprising how often the words pain and suffering are used interchangeably, as it often happens when discussing issues of animal welfare. The concept of suffering has profound implications when applied to both humans and animals, so we should examine carefully what it entails philosophically and scientifically. Let’s consider pain first. When studying … Continue reading The difference between pain and suffering

Not just intelligence: Why humans deserve to be treated better than animals

One of the cornerstone ideas of the animal rights movement is that there are no fundamental differences between humans and animals: humans are just animals, only more intelligent (Ryder, 1991). Therefore, some argue, since having a larger brain is just another quirk, like having larger tusks, animals should have many of the same rights as … Continue reading Not just intelligence: Why humans deserve to be treated better than animals

The moral relevance of human intelligence

Animal rights proponents often assert that “sentience” is the only morally relevant characteristic. In their view, we owe the same moral consideration to all sentient living beings, which must include the same basic rights to life and freedom. The animal rights philosopher asks -- Why does it matter if humans can compose a violin concerto … Continue reading The moral relevance of human intelligence