Skip to main content

The marginal cases argument: Animals matter too


If we are going to treat other species so very differently from our own — killing, eating and experimenting on pigs and sheep, for example, but never human beings — then it seems we need to come up with some morally relevant difference between us and them that justifies this difference in treatment. Otherwise it appears we are guilty of bigotry (in just the same way that someone who discriminates on the basis of race or sex is guilty of bigotry). But what is this morally relevant difference? Julia Tanner's article examines, and rejects, some of the most popular answers to this question.

Hide All


1 Linzey Andrew, Animal Rights. (SPCK: London, 1976), p. 24.

2 Scruton Roger, Animal Rights and Wrongs (London: Demos, 2000), p. 53.

3 Singer Peter, Practical Ethics (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1993), p. 153.

4 Scruton Roger, Animal Rights and Wrongs (London: Demos, 2000), pp. 54–5.

5 Frey R. G., ‘Animal Rights’, Analysis, 37, (1977), p. 188.

6 Jamieson Dale and Regan Tom, ‘Animal Rights: A Reply to FreyAnalysis, 38, (1978), p. 35.

7 Frey R. G., ‘Animal Rights’, Analysis, 37, (1977), p. 188.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 1477-1756
  • EISSN: 1755-1196
  • URL: /core/journals/think
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 15 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 266 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.