The Duty to Aid Nonhuman Animals in Dire Need


John Hadley, Department of Philosophy, School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


abstract Most moral philosophers accept that we have obligations to provide at least some aid and assistance to distant strangers in dire need. Philosophers who extend rights and obligations to nonhuman animals, however, have been less than explicit about whether we have any positive duties to free-roaming or ‘wild’ animals. I argue our obligations to free-roaming nonhuman animals in dire need are essentially no different to those we have to severely cognitively impaired distant strangers. I address three objections to the view that we have positive duties to free-roaming nonhuman animals, and respond to the predation objection to animal rights.