New Article Proposes Use of Sentience and Intrinsic Worth as Foundation for Animal Rights

Jane Kotzmann, “Sentience and Intrinsic Worth as a Pluralist Foundation for Fundamental Animal Rights” (2023) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 1-24.

Summary: To date, welfare protections have failed animals. In this context, many animal advocates and scholars have supported recognition of animal rights. Animal rights theory, however, remains underdeveloped. This article contributes to the development of animal rights theory and, in this respect, proposes the utilisation of sentience and intrinsic worth concepts as a pluralist foundation for prospective animal rights. Sentience and intrinsic worth as a conceptual underpinning for animal rights hold clear benefits in that (i) the concepts are already embedded in many legal systems, (ii) sentience would enable the development of animal rights to be built on the established interest theory of rights, and (iii) sentience directly links to the justification of rights as being primarily concerned with the prevention of pain and suffering.