I believe philosopher Colin McGinn clearly and poignantly argues the case of our guiltiness as humans of “speciesism” - a preference for humans over nonhumans merely on the basis of our being human, a difference McGinn notes that, is not a relevant difference when issues of pain and abuse are at stake. Through his use of well-thought out and intriguing examples, he posed many interesting moral questions, all generally centralized around if the speciesist attitude is the only thing that sustains our exploitative treatment of other species? He then later continues by stating that possessing intelligence is not what gives you the right not to be abused as well as understanding whether an action is wrong, you have to look at its actual effects and ask if they are bad for the thing being acted on - not ask what else happens to be true of the thing. However, (and this is a big however), unless you can think of a reason why this badness is justifiable in the light of a greater good. He argues it is purely a matter of suffering, however also states that in the majority of cases, there is no such means-end justification.
I speak for myself now but I tend to be of the opposite in some ways and represent the other side. Both rights and utilitarian arguments against the use of animals in research have failed because they refuse to recognize the moral differences among species. Reported in the New England Journal of Medicine by C. Cohen, if we appreciate the profound differences between humans and non-human animals, he says, we would understand why animals do not and could not have rights and why animal pain does not have as much moral weight as human pain.
In terms of my own opinion, animal liberationists think speciesism is immoral because they mistakenly equate it with racism and sexism. To me this is a misrepresentation. Animal liberationists compare speciesism with racism to focus our attention on the human tendency to...