Mather, J. A. 2019. Ethics and care: For animals, not just mammals. Animals 9(12), 1018.
Animals come in a huge array of types, species and structures, but without realizing it, we have focused our care on those like us, mammals. They look something like us, so it's easy to empathize with animals like dogs, cats and horses. We see them on magazine covers, worry about their pain and suffering and try to conserve their habitat. Because of this tight focus, we lose all the other animals—invertebrates, for instance, are 98% of the animals on the planet. Even though these animals aren't mammals, we should still care about their welfare. This paper gives the example of two groups, fish and crustaceans, whose welfare has been overlooked or denied, as an example of how we should care about the well-being of all animals, not just mammals. In the last few decades, we have made great strides in recognizing ethics and providing care for animals, but the focus has been mainly on mammals. This stems from a bias of attention not only in research but predominantly in non-scientists' attention (to 'popular' animals), resulting partly from discussion about and depiction of animals in publications addressed to the public. This is somewhat due to political pressure, and can result in uneven conservation efforts and biases in targets for welfare concerns. As a result, there has been a huge backlash again, with concerns about pain sensitivity and welfare in fish, and a less focused but more pervasive omission of consideration of all invertebrates. That means welfare efforts are focused on 0.2% of the animal species on the planet, and education about non-mammals, particularly addressed to children, is necessary to broaden this focus and care more fully for the inhabitants of the planet.