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We are familiar with Black Liberation, Gay Liberation, and a variety of other movements. Discrimination on the basis of sex, it has been said, is the last form of discrimination that is universally accepted and practiced without pretense, even in those liberal circles which have long prided themselves on their freedom from racial discrimination. A liberation movement demands an expansion of our moral horizons, so that practices that were previously regarded as natural and inevitable are now seen as intolerable.
Animals, Men and Morals is a manifesto for an Animal Liberation movement. The contributors to the book may not all see the issue this way.
They are a varied group. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of the legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate.
Peter Singer. Animal Liberation. page comprehensive study guide; Features 6 chapter summaries and 5 sections of expert analysis; Written by a literary. Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals is a book by Australian philosopher Peter Singer. 1 Summary; 2 Reception; 3 Editions; 4 Personal background; 5 See also; 6 References In an essay entitled "Animal Liberation: A Personal View", Singer describes the personal background that led to his.
What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day, or a week or even a month, old. But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason?
In this passage, Bentham points to the capacity for suffering as the vital characteristic that gives a being the right to equal consideration. No matter what the nature of the being, the principle of equality requires that [his or her] suffering be counted equally with the like suffering—insofar as rough comparisons can be made—of any other being. Racists violate the principle of equality by giving greater weight to the interests of members of their own race when there is a clash between their interests and the interests of those of another race.
Sexists violate the principle of equality by favoring the interests of their own sex. Similarly, speciesists allow the interests of their own species to override the greater interests of members of other species. The pattern is identical in each case. Most human beings are speciesists. Even if we were to prevent the infliction of suffering on animals only when it is quite certain that the interests of humans will not be affected to anything like the extent that animals are affected, we would be forced to make radical changes in our treatment of animals that would involve our diet, the farming methods we use, experimental procedures in many fields of science, our approach to wildlife and to hunting, trapping and the wearing of furs, and areas of entertainment like circuses, rodeos, and zoos.
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But that attitude is changing in large part due to the publication and proliferation of "Animal Liberation. Radical philosophers just assumed that human rights were for humans," Singer said.
His paper, which he later expanded into a book by the same name, has been credited as one of the inspirations for the animal rights movement and a philosophy that is equal parts applied ethics and simplicity - that the dominant species humans should "avoid inflicting pain when you can, as a rule. He's even been described by the New York Times as the most influential philosopher of our time.
And 40 years after his paper was published, it's had a clear effect: "non-human personhood" is a phrase used freely in mainstream media outlets, the FBI has committed to tracking animal cruelty cases and McDonald's in Australia has agreed to only serve eggs from free-range chickens , all issues that may never have grazed the consciousness of the mainstream without Singer's influence. Singer talked with The Dodo about the progress that's been made, the missteps of captivity and what the future holds for the animal rights movement.
What do you think of Steve Wise's non-human personhood case? I think great apes deserve rights, I hope they get them. I was a co-founder of the great ape project, in and it's taken time and energy, especially with the initiative of Steve Wise to build up the case. The fact that NYT gave Steve such prominence for his case shows there's a lot of interest in this area and maybe it is a realistic legal step but it's very hard to tell.
These are decisions that will be made by judges in the American legal system. I can't predict, I hope it will happen, it will be philosophically justified. Captivity is a major issue for animal rights.
Should zoos exist for the sake preservation? Should zoos exist at all? I think if a species is likely to become extinct in the wild and you can capture the animals humanely and recreate the physical and behavioral conditions, then could release them or their progeny in the wild, then that function of zoos is defensible.
What about SeaWorld, an institution that claims to be educational? Basically SeaWorld teaches that we can capture animals and keep them in concrete pools, it doesn't teach people anything beyond that.
There's incredible footage of cetaceans and we can learn a lot more in their natural environment and even if someone does learn something, is it worth the stress of the animal in exchange? You've written extensively on speciesism and now there are conservation efforts saying some species simply can't be saved.