Paola Cavalieri - The Animal Question (2)
The caveat first: this is not exactly a book written for a general audience. It is a treatise of ethical philosophy, and the reasoning and phrasing is, I felt, even denses in some places than reverence to the esteemed traditions of academic discourse, let alone the subject matter, should have had it be (Though not having tried to set a thorough study of the intricacies of a system of moral acting in popular prose, I of course might be entirely mistaken and this book the closest anyone can get to simplicity in what is without a doubt an discomfortingly complex matter).
Cavalieri sets out to evaluate what entities are moral entities, in the sense that they figure into moral considerations of the actions of moral agents. A thorough review of opinions of the past reveals that none of them can be made consistent. Cavalieri then suggests that the best possible solution for our current state of knowledge of the cognitive life of other species is to extend the notion of human rights to all mammals and birds. Unfortunately, her case is solid, so this is the rare case of a book that has the potential to change my life. No more burgers. Poor me.