I seek to advance plausible replies to the several criticisms Kai Horsthemke (2015) makes of “African modal relationalism,” his label for my theory of animal rights with a sub-Saharan pedigree. Central to this view is the claim that, roughly, a being has a greater moral status the more it is in principle capable of relating communally with characteristic human beings. Horsthemke maintains that this view is anthropocentric and speciesist, is poorly motivated relative to his egalitarian-individualist approach, and does not have the implications that I contend. I aim to rebut these and related criticisms, contending that African modal relationalism is in fact a promising way to philosophically ground animal rights.

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