Many think fur coats immoral yet are happy to wear leather shoes. We fiercely protect tigers and pandas from extinction, while thousands of vital insect species get notably less attention and concern. Many claim to be concerned about the welfare of animals. But it is the cute and the charismatic that come first. The others are largely an after thought.

Should we end this hypocrisy by treating animal species equally, however difficult this might be? Should biodiversity be an end in itself and the basis for intervention? Or are we right to make distinctions based on the value we attach to the species along with the accident of human desire, fashion and aesthetics?

Philosopher, cultural critic and author of Aping Mankind Ray Tallis and Professor of Sociology at Kingston University Kay Peggs debate the hypocrisy of the way we treat animals.