How to translate text using browser tools
1 March 2004 Speciesism as a precondition to justice
Y. Michael Barilan
Author Affiliations +

Over and above fairness, the concept of justice presupposes that in any community no one member's wellbeing or life plan is inexorably dependent on the consumption or exploitation of other members. Renunciation of such use of others constitutes moral sociability, without which moral considerability is useless and possibly meaningless. To know if a creature is morally sociable, we must know it in its community; we must know its ecological profile, its species. Justice can be blind to species no more than to circumstance. Speciesism, the recognition of rights on the basis of group membership rather than solely on the basis of moral considerations at the level of the individual creature, embodies this assertion but is often described as a variant of Nazi racism. I consider this description and find it unwarranted, most obviously because Nazi racism extolled the stronger and the abuser and condemned the weaker and the abused, be they species or individuals, humans or animals. To the contrary, I present an argument for speciesism as a precondition to justice.

Y. Michael Barilan "Speciesism as a precondition to justice," Politics and the Life Sciences 23(1), 22-33, (1 March 2004).[22:SAAPTJ]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 March 2004

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.

Get copyright permission
Back to Top