attempt to justify our exploitation of non-humans based on their
lack of 'human' characteristics begs the moral question by assuming
that certain characteristics are special and justify differential
treatment. Even if, for instance, humans are the only animals who
can recognise themselves in mirrors or can communicate through
symbolic language, no human is capable of flying, or breathing under
water without assistance.
makes the ability to recognise oneself in a mirror or use symbolic
language better in a moral sense than the ability to fly or breathe
answer, of course, is that we say so and it is in our interest to
Francione: Animals and us: Our hypocrisy, NewScientist.com,
June 4, 2005.