chapter  10
Ecological justice and the sentient
Pages 13

It is important to emphasize at the start of this chapter that, although we are now moving beyond the non-sentient realm of the ‘merely living’ to organisms which possess sentience, consciousness, self-consciousness and various forms of intelligence, our focus is still firmly upon the requirements of ecological justice and upon what environmental resources such organisms are entitled to claim against moral agents. We are not concerned with the issues of how moral agents may treat or mistreat such organisms in other respects, such as in their direct personal interaction with them. It is important to emphasize this point because it is with respect to organisms possessing sentience and beyond that an enormous amount of ethical thought has already been expended without, however, addressing issues of distributive justice regarding environmental goods and bads of the kind with which ecological justice is concerned. We need to maintain, therefore, a firm grip upon this set of issues, without, of course, disparaging the efforts of those whose concern has been primarily with the welfare and suffering of individual non-human animals.