Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 22 (1-4):171 – 188 (1979)
It has been argued that if non-human animals had rights we should be obliged to defend them against predators. I contend that this either does not follow, follows in the abstract but not in practice, or is not absurd. We should defend non-humans against large or unusual dangers, when we can, but should not claim so much authority as to regulate all the relationships of wild things. Some non-human animals are members of our society, and the rhetoric of 'the land as a community' is an attempt, paralleling that of humanism, to create the moral ideal of Earth's Household. But wild animals should be considered as Nozick's 'independents' and have correspondingly fewer claims on our assistance than members of our society. They still have some claims, often strong ones.
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