Numerous philosophers across time have given different definitions and recommendations to moral issues touching on animals and humans. The debates have been around for a long time and the philosophers have split into three main groups (vuletic-2018). One agreeing that animals and humans should be treated equally; this supports the mutuality in relationship and not an absolute symbiotic relationship of one specie to the other. Another group has been claiming that animals are in their own class and should not at any cost be compared to humans; they believe in the law of nature that one specie must be dominant over the other as the law of survival dictates. This group vehemently defends human actions; even cruel ones by saying that if animals are shown any sign of kindness the human race faces the threat of becoming extinct. The third faction stands on the ground that animals and humans are not same thus their relationship cannot be mutual; animals deserve to be treated differently but not with cruelty.
Peter Singer, Tom Reagan and Bonnie Steinbock are the three philosophers that have dazzled the world with how they dissect the theory of animal and human instincts. All three of them have divergent takes on the issue; at some points they agree but each one of them stands firm on his claim. Peter Singer is known for his famous claim in the many articles he has written that all animals are equal. The first time he explicitly wrote about that issue was in 1975 and it is his first book that shone light on his philosophy field. Peter claims that survival instincts of human and animals are basically the same hence one must learn to be tolerant and accommodating to the other. He backs his claim by giving an elaborate study of how species categorize themselves; humans naturally tend to think they are more important because of their mode of communication, high intelligence quotient, walking posture among other advantageous traits. He states that animals too have different appearance and that is their base for hunting each other. He adds that by hunting animals or using to please and meets our needs makes be the exact replica of them (peter-1974). Peter further goes ahead to claim that humans comes in different shapes, colors, lifestyles, communication traits and different intelligence quotients, it is the stress of one group being superior over the other that has led to sad issues like racism, sexism and gender bias. He backs for equal rights among humans and animals.
Tom Reagan however has a different view; he claims that the criterion of selection and categorizing does not matter. He says that animals owe humans nothing and everything and that all these happened naturally. His statement starts as a bias but he is for the humble opinion humans should be more decent in how they animals as they gain nothing morally or intellectually by inflicting pain on animals. Tom says that animal interests are same as humans and each should treat the other with modicum decency. He states that the end result always justifies the means and that is why humans mistreat animal. His stance does not strongly incline to either animals or humans totally.
Bonnie Steinbock has radical views and he fully backs the actions of humans towards animals. He says that lack of moral intellect is a justification for the cruelty they undergo. Bonnie believes that the two species are not at all equal and comparing or tabling their needs on one table is a mock to philosophy. Just like racism and sexism hit the face of humanity so should speciesism be accepted?