Nexus City, as the meeting point of thousands of cultures, societies, political parties, and religions, was beset with extreme factionalism. It was said that if you brought five Nexians together, you would get ten views on any given subject. This was only a slight exaggeration.
One of the most contentious issues was the treatment of non-sentient or semi-sentient entities --animal rights. Magical, technological, and psionic approaches to communication had long before established that animals could think and communicate. Some animals could do so much better than others. This was enough for many observers. The presence of language was a clear indicator that animals should be a full member of the sentient society, albeit in many cases a very junior member.
This did not impress others, who felt that so-called 'lower' animals were intended to be exploited. Paradoxically, many intelligent animals felt this way. You would not often find a were-wolf or a neo-tiger eating at the tissue banks. 'Lower' animals did not seem to have very much interest in curtailing their regular feeding, fighting, and protective habits.
Elaborate classification schemes were developed, some far more complex than 'carnivore/ herbivore/ omnivore' or even 'vegetarian/vegan.' (And what of the dryads and other inhabitants of Red who swore that they routinely spoke with plants?)
Predictably, proposed solutions and responses to the 'problem' of animal rights took many forms. There were books published, and religions formed, and organizations chartered. Inevitably, there were wars. These tended not to last long. More troublesome were various flavors of eco-terrorists. One group, inaptly named 'Tongues of Gaia' went so far as to bio-engineer and epify eco-warriors.
The Schopenhauers were formed to take a more reasonable approach. The founders of the organization based their philosopy on a fairly dense 19th century ethicist named Arthur Schopenhauer. He had reasoned that non-human animals have basically the same essence as humans, even if they were not as intelligent or articulate. This moderate approach seemed to resonate with the general public, who supported the groupís 'slow but sure' approach by complying with simple suggestions (and perhaps more importantly, contributing funds).