Animal Law Review

Author Details

Gwendellyn Io Earnshaw is winner the first annual Animal Law Student Writing Competition.

First Page



The concept of sustainability has evolved through a wide variety of definitions. Traditionally, sustainability was seen as a system of management which would allow humans to perpetually exploit the world's natural resources; that is, to manage resources so they would never be depleted. More recently, however, writers have argued the traditional concept of sustainability has failed because a truly sustainable system recognizes all resources and stakeholders for their inherent value. Equity is thus the essential ethic of a sustainable system. This article adopts this modern view of sustainability and identifies interspecies equity-the consideration of nonhuman animals based upon their inherent self-interests-as the embodiment and ultimate test of a truly sustainable system. By identifying the negative impacts of suppressing interspecies equity and citing exnamples of how to incorporate the sustainable ideal of interspecies equity, this article points the way toward a truly equity-based ethic of sustainability.

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Animal Law Commons



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