Published by Oxford University Press (2012).
"With Peter Singer's Practical Ethics, David DeGrazia's Taking Animals Seriously, and Jeff McMahan's The Ethics of Killing, Varner's book is essential reading for those interested in understanding the ethics of human-animal relationships ... [T]his book constitutes the current state of the art on animal ethics, personhood, and animal cognition."

  • Environmental Ethics


"Professor Varner’s earlier work, In Nature's Interests? (Oxford University Press 1998), is a very fine book. It has achieved a high level of respect from those working in the field, and is often seen as having set a new standard of debate in environmental ethics. That means that a new book by Professor Varner will be received with considerable interest.

"Varner draws on extensive recent empirical research regarding the degree to which animals are self-conscious and uses this information as the basis for the most serious discussion I have yet seen of whether any nonhuman animals can be considered 'persons'.

"There is, to my knowledge, no other book that goes into these issues anywhere near as deeply, in the context of assessing their significance for the normative issues of the wrongness of taking life, or other issues relating to ethical decision-making regarding our treatment of animals and some humans. I have no doubt that this book will, like In Nature's Interests?, be seen as making an important contribution to the topics it covers."

  • Peter Singer, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University



Gary Varner's home page