eltonioni wrote:...concious or not.
And that's the key I think. Somehow because humans have a sensation of consciousness and we assume that animals don't, then we believe that they are not the same as us and we can do what we like with them. It's not an argument that I accept.
1. What is consciousness? What is it for? What was it's survival value when it first evolved?
2. Why does being conscious set us apart ethically from (non - conscious) animals?
3. How do we know that some animals are not conscious, or maybe some have a rudimentary form?
Recent studies into consciousness seem to suggest that it's not the top level thought process that it appears - it's more of a fiction generated help us as highly social animals to have a story about what we and our peers are doing - it enables us to have a theory of mind. It's not real at all and makes stuff up. Deeper, subconscious thought processes filter loads of stuff out and only present to our consciousness things that seem interesting or different.
Enough of me rambling. It's worth reading Daniel Dennett on this stuff.