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The philosophical necessity of animal rights

What could justify humanity’s cruel treatment of other creatures? Absolutely nothing

By Christine Korsgaard  

Photo: C3726 Tierschutzreporter/DPA/PA Images

Immanuel Kant’s argument that no human being should be used as a mere means to the ends of others has become a part of our moral culture. Speaking informally, you are using a person as a mere means when you are using that person in a way that is contrary to his/her own good and to which he/she could not possibly consent. But every human being, as a rational being, is an “end-in-itself,” as Kant put it, and so has an inherent value that forbids such…

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