Animals and the Meaning They Bring to Our Lives

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Lund University's Philosophical Society


A fundamental tenet of an animal liberation ethic is the moral equality of animals. But is the notion of animal equality compatible with our ordinary practices of prioritizing companion animals over other kinds of animals? In answering this question, I develop an ethic that emphasizes the moral significance of life-meaning and recognizes the important role that companion animals play in making human lives meaningful. And, as I will argue, this meaning-of-life ethic can explain the intuition that although animals are moral equals, it’s justified to prioritize companion animals over other nonhumans.

Controlled Subject

Animal rights; Equality--Moral and ethical aspects


Animal Studies

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