This article attempts to offer an alternative to Western ethical theories on animals that give prominence to empirical findings. To do so, Paintings to Protect Life ([inline-graphic 02]) by Feng Zikai 豐子愷 (1898–1975) is examined. Due to Feng's emphasis on the category of "life" itself, his position differs from the theories of Peter Singer and Tom Regan in many significant ways. Using aspect-seeing as an analytic tool, I argue that some of Feng's paintings function to clarify ethical meaning, and they do not contribute to the advancement of empirical knowledge. The issue regarding how Feng's stance on various life forms can be justified from an ethical point of view is discussed alongsideRaimond Gaita's notion of a "rich conception of the surface."