Today we talked about animals, and the moral obligations we have to them. We saw two accounts of this. Tom Regan argues that as rights view is the best way to understand our feelings about animals. On Regan's view, rights stem from what he calls 'being the subject of a life'. I think he means that if you experience life from the inside, you deserve to be treated in the same way as other beings who experience life from the inside. Regan's view, then, which he positions alongside other rights movements, such as the women's rights or civil rights movements, is that animals should not be framed or otherwise used as ends at all - they have the same rights that human beings do.
Carl Cohen argues against such a view, in two ways. Only members of the human moral community, which is a community with the capacity to understand its moral place in the world, can have moral rights. Since animals cannot do this, they are not part of the moral community, and therefore they have no moral rights. (Though as Bradley pointed out, animals could easily be given legal rights, these are not moral rights.) Moreover, for the case of animal testing, Cohen argues that from a utilitarian point of view, it is likely that the suffering of a few animals will lead to a greater good, and is therefore justified. Cohen approves of animal testing, in fact, he thinks there should be more of it.