There are many different ethical theories, which differ according to the way in which they require us to act and in the arguments that support them. Whatever dilemmas arise in our own case between our feelings for the animal under our care and the task we may be committed to, let us not be tempted to dismiss our sentiments out of hand or ruthlessly suppress our better feelings.
Deontology is one of three fundamental ethical theories that can guide our thinking about moral questions and how we might resolve them.
Immanuel Kant was another philosopher who used a deontological approach to his ethical arguments on human rights.
Lab Animal Europe ;1 No 5 In a very early classic case involving animal cruelty under English law in the s Richard Martin of Martin's law fame rescued his case from defeat by bringing the abused donkey into court. For example, Ingrid Newkirk of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals PETA ostensibly endorses a rights position and ultimately seeks the abolition of animal exploitation, but she argues that "total victory, like checkmate, cannot be achieved in one move," and that we must endorse the moral orthodoxy of animal welfare as involving necessary "steps in the direction" of animal rights.
Each theory focuses on a different attitude to morality, reveals a unique insight into moral problems and suggests a different way for resolving moral questions. The spiritually inclined believe animals are not made in the 'image of God' and, although some of them appreciate and admire animals as God's creatures, many of them are largely unresponsive to animal misfortune and distress.
So, we do have duties to nonhuman animals, but these duties are weaker than our duties to persons. This confusion and uncertainty, and the resultant tension between rejecting speciesism but purporting to judge the morality of acts based solely on consequences, makes Singer's theory even more difficult to understand and to apply.
For example, Singer's long-term goal is to ensure that equal human and nonhuman interests receive equal consideration in a balancing process that is as free of speciesism as is possible.
Animals and humans are similar. He does claim that at least all normal mammals older than 1 yr are subjects of a life.