Context: Moral Hierarchy is a compelling idea because it gives human moral priority while granting non-human beings moral values. Still, this concept has some flaws that resulted real-life problems and animal suffering such as animals in zoo captivity committing suicide.
Disruption: These issues happen because the guidelines of how human as moral higher beings should treat animals are vague. Sterba’s idea of the 4 principles lack specification that created loopholes for people with personal desires to misuse the term basic needs (which is the base of the four principles) As a result, unjust treatment of animals are disguised under the excuse for basic needs.
Response: It is possible to define the term basic needs with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Once the term is clarified, some loopholes will be closed. It is also important that there is a common understanding of basic needs. The power of majority is strong and can push for actual changes of the flawed system causing animal sufferings.