The Humane Society of the United States. (1963). Animals in a Research Laboratory. Washington, D.C.
For Schopenhauer, understanding is found in animals as well as in human beings. Animals do not possess reason, or the faculty of abstract concepts:
If animals have moral significance, we have to think beyond our personal needs and beyond the idea of animals as a resource.
Robert Wright addresses these same issues in terms of why human beings believe they have moral significance while animals do not and finds that the arguments are unclear and do not lead to useful conclusions. He says that in arguing these issues, people take one of two paths:
The second path implies that because human beings can anticipate pain and death, and because they know that death will represent the end of consciousness forever, and because they recognize that threats to one person may represent a threat to all, the protection of human rights is thus essential to everyone's peace of mind:
There is a phenomenal world not only for man but also for animals. For the conditions of its possibility are present also in the latter, these conditions being the a priori forms of sensibility, namely space and time, and the category of the understanding, namely causality. (Copleston 267)
So unless you can come up with a non-arbitrary reason for saying that their particular qualities are worthless while our particular quantities are precious, you have to start thinking about animals in a whole new light. (Wright 25)
cance of animals is that human actions will be determined by the outcome of the argument. Human beings tend to view animals as a resource that exists for human use:
Since animals exist for us, to benefit us in one way or another, what harms them really doesn't matter--or matters only if it starts to bother us, makes us feel a trifle uneasy. (Regan 47)
The first path is simply difficult to argue because it depends on religious conviction more than on any plausible line o