The Cattle in the Long Cedar Springs Draw

In Nandita Batra & Mario Wenning (eds.), The Human–Animal Boundary Exploring the Line in Philosophy and Fiction. Lanham: Lexington Books. pp. 97-114 (2019)
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Abstract
The argument for vegetarianism from overlapping species goes like this. Every individual who is the subject of a life has a right to life. Some humans—e.g., the severely congenitally cognitively limited—lack language, rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness, and yet they are subjects of a life. Severely congenitally cognitively limited humans have a right to life. Some animals—e.g., all mammals—lack language, rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness, and yet they are subjects of a life. We ought to treat like cases alike. The cases of some humans are like the cases of some animals. Therefore, some animals have a right to life. The argument seems not to have moved many people to change their diets. The reason, I suggest, is not because the argument is unsound but because our ability to change our dietary practices is difficult and we lack the imaginative resources to see the world from a nonhuman perspective. I suggest that creative artists are of great value here, and I provide an example by referring to the work of the American novelist, Cormac McCarthy.
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