Kelsey Kamitomo's paper, "Duty, Sentience, and Morally Culpable: an Argument for the Rights of Animals" has been accepted at two different undergraduate conferences. Kelsey's paper was originally written for Lauren Hartzel Nichol's Animal Welfare course.
Abstract: This paper argues it is the duty of each individual to consider the interests of non-human animals and create a culture that gives proper consideration to the interests of others, as well as prevent unnecessary harm. Buying food, makeup, medications, and so on without ever questioning the products source is a choice to remain ignorant while providing indirect support to inhumane practices. Thus, any intentional or unintentional failure to consider and draw attention to the interests of non-human animals is a morally culpable act one should be held accountable for. I contend that our present conception of morality proceeds from a false understanding of the moral status of non-human species. And so, actions that should be recognized as duties to non-human animals have been labeled 'supererogatory' instead. If we agree with Peter Singer and decide to judge sentience as the only pre-requisite to bearing rights, there is a corresponding obligation to give equal attention to the interests of all human and non-human species.