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Environmentalism and Moral Concern for Animals

Climate change is an adverse long-term environmental change that impacts all the living organisms on our planet. According to CBS News (2019), a U.N. report presents how the effects of climate change increase and become even more inevitable. Extreme weather conditions and impacts on the Earth’s oceans and icy regions are some of the main consequences of global warming (MacKinnon & Fiala, 2018). The problem is widely discussed; however, some individuals still do not quite admit it.

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Upon watching the U.N. report, I realized that I am concerned with the world’s future, and I am willing to contribute to the changes needed to avert the dreadful outcomes. I tend to buy products made out of recyclable materials or at least containing as little plastic as possible. Besides, I try to reduce water waste, save electricity, and plan my meals to avoid overstuffing my fridge. I feel scared when I think about the consequences for the world that people’s unawareness can cause. Denial and indifference are the main reasons for people’s ignorance and lack of attention to the issue. Moreover, selfishness and the value of one’s own comfort are most likely to prevent the needed changes in our way of living. In contrast, the principles of sustainable development applied by businesses and governments can help avert the climate crisis’s effects.

Another contemporary issue to discuss is the moral concern for animals. According to Gruen (2017), speciesism is a term coined by Richard Ryder and indicating that only humans are morally considered. Richard Ryder views such a phenomenon as a type of racism and objects harming other species by the human race. However, specialists hold different views on the issue of animals’ rights for ethical consideration. For instance, Carl Cohen argues that only species that are autonomous in their capacity to comprehend the moral status should maintain rights (Ebert, 2016). As for me, I agree with Ryder’s idea of human bias. At the same time, Cohen’s view of the moral consideration of animals does not resonate with me since I believe in human’s responsibility for their actions as their advanced cognitive abilities enable them to make the right moral decisions.


CBS News. (2019). U.N. report warns on the impacts of climate change. [Video]. YouTube.

Ebert, R. (2016). Professor Carl Cohen: Why animals do not have rights [Video]. YouTube.

Gruen, L. (2017). The moral status of animals. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2017).

MacKinnon, B., & Fiala, A. (2018). Ethics: Theory and contemporary issues (9th ed.). Cengage Learning.

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