chapter  3
17 Pages

Human and Animal Lives

WithDavid E. Cooper

It is impossible to compare human and animal virtues or failings – or to assess the wrongful treatment of animals – without first establishing relevant differences and affinities between human and animal lives. This chapter first identifies some fundamental aspects distinctive of human life, including a temporally extended sense of self and a capacity for moral reflection. A further section identifies essential affinities between humans and animals, primarily through rejecting implausible and often disingenuous denials of these affinities, such as the denials that animals are capable of emotion and understanding. This is followed by a diagnosis of why these denials are made. The chapter ends by arguing that the fundamental affinity is the fact that humans and animals alike have lives, ones they lead in worlds replete with significance for them.