The view of animal welfare claims that animals have some moral status, but it is a lesser moral status than a human being possess. This is because they have some intrinsic value but less intrinsic value than human beings. There are characteristics that the animal welfare believes that it is important in determining the intrinsic value of a being. They include the capacity to form beliefs, to remember the past, to anticipate the future, to perceive, to experience emotions, to feel pleasure and pain, and to have desires. Therefore because they have these characteristics, they are competent of experiencing their lives as having a past and a future, and then consequently they are capable of knowing that they have a life that matters to them. This answers the first question which is what is the moral status of animals. Because the have moral status, the animal welfare view claims that it is immoral to cause animals to suffer. Causing needless animal suffering is wrong although some animal suffering is permitted. According to this view, when the use of animals for human purposes is important enough, even when it involves some suffering and even death on the animals part, then using it is morally acceptable. Animals are needed for food and the experiments which use them save millions of human beings from suffering and death. So, we should use them for our own good. Their moral status is again, less than human beings so it is morally acceptable to use them for our purposes. This answers the second question which is under what conditions, if any, may animals be used for the benefit of human beings. The last two premises say that many nonhuman animals have some moral status and using nonhuman animals for food and research is morally acceptable if it is done humanely.
Along with approvals of animal welfare, there are also some objections. Tom Regan does not think that the premise "many nonhuman animals have some moral status" is reliable.