Abstract

Two individuals can both be ethical vegans but disagree on the normative basis of their moral beliefs. This article will look at the development of two competing theories that hold prominence in debates among animal advocates: utilitarianism and deontology. Next, we turn toward their divergence in epistemology, the moral status of experiences and individuals, and the limits of permissibility. Last, we unite utilitarianism and deontology by noting where they converge. This union comes from enlightenment thinking, the postulation of direct duties to animals, disapproval of factory farming conditions, and, most importantly, the goal of improving the lives of many animals.

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