Thesis Committee Member(s)
Regis College Senior Honors Program
Thesis - Open Access
Number of Pages
Generally, we humans believe human life is superior to all other animal life. Humans are the most intelligent, most capable, most feeling, and thus most valuable creatures on the planet, and thus they are distinct from all other animal species. This concept is pervasive in western philosophy, laws, religions, uses of language, and general society. Yet in the 1979 movie Alien, we see a human risk her life to save a cat, going against both the instinct to survive and the implications of the human/animal distinction. The idea that human life always holds precedence over other animal life is largely based in false assumptions and pretenses, pretenses which cannot hold up in light of many non-human animal abilities, and the fact of animal evolution. Yes, there is worth to be seen in the animal kingdom, but worth based not in simplistic species-based distinctions, but in a spectrum of animal ability and degrees of personhood - and humans, as highly intelligent, capable, and feeling animals, are indeed morally obligated to some non-human animals, as Ripley was obligated to Jones.
Date of Award
© Rachael Haun
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Haun, Rachael, "The Rescue of Jones: the False Human/Animal Distinction and Worth in the Animal Kingdom" (2013). Student Publications. 619.