Animal Rights: Where the action is?

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May 23 2010 21:39
jooball wrote:
Some thirty years ago I was a leading light in animal rights activism. That was until my partner and I had a severely disabled child. They ran like rats from a sinking ship. Couldn't give a fuck about our suffering and the issues we faced as a family of a child with severe disabilitiies. To say I was cheesed off is an understatement. These people take the moral high ground whilst unable to deal with the real issues. I'm not saying animals don't have rights but it's very easy to attach yourself to these ideals whilst flailing around with the real issues connected to your fellow human beings. Its easy going sabbing once a week and following a vegan diet and looking down on everyone else. Get real. Twenty one years on we're still caring for our disabled son and where are our animal rights friends now - certainly not fighting the battles we have had to fight for our son's rights to a decent life. Much easier raiding the odd vivisection lab.

Look I'm terribly sorry this has happened to you. In every movement, as in every group, there are assholes. I'm not sure how that discounts the animal rights argument or why that makes you want to punch me in the face, as you mention in your next post.

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May 23 2010 21:44
Tojiah wrote:
Yes, people who think fetuses are people are a lot like people who think that animals are people. Not because these are identical issues but because it attracts the same kind of moral hysteria.

Maybe but to me the issues are not at all identical.

A first trimester fetus (when abortions are routinely performed) has no sensory perception, no nerve endings to feel pain, no real cognitive awareness of any kind.

A cow in a slaughterhouse or a chicken on a poultry truck is a fully developed sentient being with a complex central nervous system, emotions, thoughts, desires, and so forth.

I don't believe in agitating for "animal's rights", I believe in agitating for the political liberation of sentient beings including beasts.

And no, I am not a vegan, and yes, I think there are extremely important differences between humans and other animals.

Edit: And for what it's worth the movement for class war also generates "moral hysteria" among its less rationally vigorous participants. In no way negates the reasoning behind class war.

Boris Badenov
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May 23 2010 21:45

Just in case you missed my post Hughes,

Vlad336 wrote:
Hughes wrote:
Vlad336 wrote:
Hughes wrote:
The modern ARM, which is fewer than 40 years old, could be called the fastest growing political force today.

any specific sources to support this claim?

Depending on one's philosophical approach, most trace the origins of the modern Animal Rights movement to the publication of Peter Singer's "Animal Liberation" in 1975 or Tom Regan's "The Case for Animal Rights" in 1983.

What I meant was on what do you base the assertion that the ARM is "the fastest growing political force today"?

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May 23 2010 21:48
Hughes wrote:
Well the British animal rights movement is generally regarded as more radical than its American counterpart.

After all, it was in England where a Huntingdon Life and Science CEO was attacked outside his home with pick-axe handles and CS gas. It was in England that animal rights militant Barry Horne went on a prison hunger strike that led to his death.

I was actually involved in animal rights* briefly and I attended a meeting with Keith Mann who was doing a post-prison tour and press release of a recent book which had just come out. Someone asked him the strategy regarding vivisection and where things stand with SHAC, (this was probably 2006 if my memory doesn't fail me) and he said the role of SHAC/ALF et al was to force the government into having a public inquiry into vivisection in the hope it would lead to a ban.

Now call me out on that if you will, but that is reformism pure and simple. And that pretty much summarises to me the complete lack of analysis that exists among the animal rights millieu. The end result of this kind of logic amounts to nothing more than calling for the passing of restrictive legislation that coerces people into accepting animals should be well treated. No analysis of why animals are mistreated under capitalism and a correlating stratergy to it, no pre-occupation with a counter culture, just another clique with ambitions that can only be realised in the functioning of the status quo.

As someone who as been class concious an active from a young age, the number of animal rights people I have encountered who have decent class politics I could count on one hand, and I have met easily over a hundred people in the flesh and in real life. That really tells you all you need to know.

*I have always had a problem with that term and think with Nyarlathotep that libertarian communism and animal abuse are not at odds with each other, but I am less than sympathetic to animal rights dogma than I once was.

jooball
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May 23 2010 21:48

Also my friend, also an animal rights activist whilst suffering and later dying from aids was totally abandoned. The sabbing of course carried on but my dear friend suffered a death alone from her so called friends cos they all seemed to say 'how upset they were at how she was'. These people were so called animal rights braves. Not brave when the chips were down at all. Her grief at her situation was passed off as ' ... is oppressing us'. Animal rights can be, and i don't expect it is for all, an identity which covers the true cowardice of their own nature. There's a lot of posturing about. My friend's funeral, of course, was terribly well attended and the vegan buffet really enjoyed.

I can't really comment on the sentient beings stuff. Its just so ridiculous.

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May 23 2010 21:50
Vlad336 wrote:
Hughes wrote:
Vlad336 wrote:
Hughes wrote:
The modern ARM, which is fewer than 40 years old, could be called the fastest growing political force today.

any specific sources to support this claim?

Depending on one's philosophical approach, most trace the origins of the modern Animal Rights movement to the publication of Peter Singer's "Animal Liberation" in 1975 or Tom Regan's "The Case for Animal Rights" in 1983.

What I meant was on what do you base the assertion that the ARM is "the fastest growing political force today"?

It wasn't an assertion. I believe my words were that it "could be called" the fastest growing political force today. I have no empirical evidence with which to prove that--but I imagine if you graphed vegan/vegetarian levels over the past 40 years you'd see exponential growth patterns. Tom Regan has said that more has been written on the topic of animal rights since 1980 than was written in the previous 2,000 years combined, and I have no doubt he's right.

Now if you wanted to argue that the modern environmental movement began in the early 60's with the publication of "Silent Spring," one could definitely argue there's been much greater growth there.

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May 23 2010 21:57
Hughes wrote:
It wasn't an assertion.

It most certainly is if you "have no empirical evidence with which to prove that."

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but I imagine if you graphed vegan/vegetarian levels over the past 40 years you'd see exponential growth patterns.

That means very little in terms of the growth of ARM. I am a vegetarian and am vehemently opposed to any notion of "animal rights" (which does not mean that I support the ways animals are currently used and misused by various industries - this is of course a false dichotomy created by the ARM people themselves). Equally every vegan I know, though definitely involved in some sort of ecological issue, is not an ARM activist.
For all I see ARM is still very much an irrelevant fringe movement with very little presence in the political mainstream of any nation, Western or not. I have not heard ARM mentioned in any media source (mainstream as well as independent) in years now. Whereas anarchists (perceived or real) are in fact constantly vilified (or at least mentioned).

Quote:
Tom Regan has said that more has been written on the topic of animal rights since 1980 than was written in the previous 2,000 years combined, and I have no doubt he's right.

This is because ARM is as you pointed out above a very recent notion, which can be traced back to no earlier than the 60s contercultural movement.
In any case, the amount of literature written on a political issue does not make that political issue relevant in terms of informing a wide and growing militant movement, otherwise Marxism would be truly a force to be reckoned with today.

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May 23 2010 21:59
jooball wrote:
Also my friend, also an animal rights activist whilst suffering and later dying from aids was totally abandoned. The sabbing of course carried on but my dear friend suffered a death alone from her so called friends cos they all seemed to say 'how upset they were at how she was'. These people were so called animal rights braves. Not brave when the chips were down at all. Her grief at her situation was passed off as ' ... is oppressing us'. Animal rights can be, and i don't expect it is for all, an identity which covers the true cowardice of their own nature. There's a lot of posturing about. My friend's funeral, of course, was terribly well attended and the vegan buffet really enjoyed.

I can't really comment on the sentient beings stuff. Its just so ridiculous.

Again, I am truly, deeply sorry that this has happened to you, your family, and your friends. But there are assholes in any movement. To use this fact to attack a particular movement is essentially ad hominem. Attack ideas, not the flawed people who propagate them.

Finally, I must ask: I notice you registered less than 25 minutes ago. You wouldn't happen to be another member of the board who's signed up under a separate name merely to start a flame war, would you?

If this is not the case...my apologies. I'll take you at your word.

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May 23 2010 22:22
Nyarlathotep wrote:
Kind of like what the social-fascists in Germany said about Marinus van der Lubbe or anyone else who actually took a principled stand of resistance against Nazi barbarism

If I was going to give an example to show why violent tactics are justified, I really, really, really wouldn't give the burning of the Reichstag.

Hughes wrote:
I ask these questions not looking for a debate of the merits of the causes in question. Be respectful.
Hughes wrote:
All of this, again, is not to suggest that terrorism or economic sabotage is an effective tactic

So if we're not debating the actual merits of the causes, and we're not debating the effectiveness of the tactics, what exactly are we talking about?

Vlad336 wrote:
For all I see ARM is still very much an irrelevant fringe movement with very little presence in the political mainstream of any nation, Western or not. I have not heard ARM mentioned in any media source (mainstream as well as independent) in years now. Whereas anarchists (perceived or real) are in fact constantly vilified (or at least mentioned).

Eh, over here at least they get their fair share of vilification. I think 28 Days Later even had the ALF as being responsible for the zombie apocalypse. Obviously, though, I wouldn't think that getting stories like this in the paper on a semi-regular basis counts as success.

october_lost wrote:
Now call me out on that if you will, but that is reformism pure and simple. And that pretty much summarises to me the complete lack of analysis that exists among the animal rights millieu. The end result of this kind of logic amounts to nothing more than calling for the passing of restrictive legislation that coerces people into accepting animals should be well treated. No analysis of why animals are mistreated under capitalism and a correlating stratergy to it, no pre-occupation with a counter culture, just another clique with ambitions that can only be realised in the functioning of the status quo.

As someone who as been class concious an active from a young age, the number of animal rights people I have encountered who have decent class politics I could count on one hand, and I have met easily over a hundred people in the flesh and in real life. That really tells you all you need to know.

*I have always had a problem with that term and think with Nyarlathotep that libertarian communism and animal abuse are not at odds with each other, but I am less than sympathetic to animal rights dogma than I once was.

D'you not mean "libertarian communism and opposition to animal abuse"? Anyway, I think this is a bit unfair, there are a lot of people who do AR stuff who also have decent class politics (although I may be biased cos I've never actively been involved in AR, so I've only tended to meet those who turn up to class struggle-related stuff). I'd think that, even if you don't agree with (all of) its arguments, something like 'Beasts of Burden' by Antagonism is at least worthy of a serious response beyond just "alienated/misanthropic/reformist" and so on.

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May 23 2010 22:26
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That means very little in terms of the growth of ARM. I am a vegetarian and am vehemently opposed to any notion of "animal rights" (which does not mean that I support the ways animals are currently used and misused by various industries - this is of course a false dichotomy created by the ARM people themselves). Equally every vegan I know, though definitely involved in some sort of ecological issue, is not an ARM activist.
For all I see ARM is still very much an irrelevant fringe movement with very little presence in the political mainstream of any nation, Western or not. I have not heard ARM mentioned in any media source (mainstream as well as independent) in years now. Whereas anarchists (perceived or real) are in fact constantly vilified (or at least mentioned).

What you're saying hinges very much on your definition of animal rights. I'd argue its a movement which seeks to abolish the property status of all sentient beings

While PETA has many grave faults--from "euthanasia" to reformist campaigns to sexist advertising--the organization, which boasts over 2 million members and supporters, holds an abolitionist platform. As Ingrid Newkirk has said: "There is no hidden agenda. If anybody wonders about — what’s this with all these reforms — you can hear us clearly. Our goal is total animal liberation."

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May 23 2010 22:29
Farce wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:
Kind of like what the social-fascists in Germany said about Marinus van der Lubbe or anyone else who actually took a principled stand of resistance against Nazi barbarism

If I was going to give an example to show why violent tactics are justified, I really, really, really wouldn't give the burning of the Reichstag.

Ha ha, I assume you are referring to the allied anti-fascist imperialist interpretation of historical events, in which the left-wing "extremism" of the communist ultra-left somehow forced or encouraged the right-wing "extremism" of the emergent Nazi party.

Obviously this in no way accounts for a scientific interpretation of the material causes of totalitarian policy among the Nazi regime.

no1
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May 23 2010 22:42
Nyarlathotep wrote:
no1 wrote:
The militant AR people you talk about always remind me of the anti-abortion movement. Both are fueled by alienation, and the lack of a deeper materialist analysis of society and social change, the lack of an understanding of class struggle push them ultimately towards terrorism. I don't see what they have in common with genuine anti-capitalist/socialist/communist tendencies, which may be small but at least relate to concrete material needs of large sections of society.

Yes, believing that sentient beings should not be tortured for the purpose of capitalist commodity production is exactly like believing women should be denied access to basic medical procedures by the state. wall

I didn't say the issues are the same, but the attraction for people who get involved in them. When people convince themselves that it falls on them to save and liberate beings (be they animals or fetuses) that can't even speak for themselves, a tremendous moral urgency develops. Personally I believe liberation can only be self-emancipation.

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May 23 2010 22:47
no1 wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:
no1 wrote:
The militant AR people you talk about always remind me of the anti-abortion movement. Both are fueled by alienation, and the lack of a deeper materialist analysis of society and social change, the lack of an understanding of class struggle push them ultimately towards terrorism. I don't see what they have in common with genuine anti-capitalist/socialist/communist tendencies, which may be small but at least relate to concrete material needs of large sections of society.

Yes, believing that sentient beings should not be tortured for the purpose of capitalist commodity production is exactly like believing women should be denied access to basic medical procedures by the state. wall

I didn't say the issues are the same, but the attraction for people who get involved in them. When people convince themselves that it falls on them to save and liberate beings (be they animals or fetuses) that can't even speak for themselves, a tremendous moral urgency develops. Personally I believe liberation can only be self-emancipation.

So if I was breeding mentally retarded humans, who could not emancipate themselves, to be forced organ donors, you would not act?

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May 23 2010 22:47

mentally retarded people are a bit like animals if you think about it.

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May 23 2010 22:49
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So if we're not debating the actual merits of the causes, and we're not debating the effectiveness of the tactics, what exactly are we talking about?

I was hoping to discuss what factors have contributed to the rise in animal rights activism since the 1970s in addition to discussing what factors contributed to the decrease in anti-capitalist activism over the same period.

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May 23 2010 22:52
Hughes wrote:
[

What you're saying hinges very much on your definition of animal rights. I'd argue its a movement which seeks to abolish the property status of all sentient beings

That phrasing is not very clear. In what sense are animals property according to ARM? People have owned animals, as pets, beasts of burden, and so forth, for thousands of years. Many species of animals came into being as a result of human beings owning (and domesticating) their wild ancestors. The animal as property is not a concept that is congruent with that of private property in a capitalist society. They mean different things, and so I think it needs to be established that the goals of AMR are ultimately different than those of "the anti-capitalist left" (a concept that itself requires explanations), and so a comparison in numbers is perhaps not that relevant. There are definitely more people who support liberal causes out there; that doesn't mean liberalism is beneficent for the working class and that communists are wrong.

Quote:
While PETA has many grave faults--from "euthanasia" to reformist campaigns to sexist advertising--the organization, which boasts over 2 million members and supporters, holds an abolitionist platform. As Ingrid Newkirk has said: "There is no hidden agenda. If anybody wonders about — what’s this with all these reforms — you can hear us clearly. Our goal is total animal liberation."

That is simply one person (in a position of power, so obv. she will emphasize the party line, not the actual practices which include, as you point out the killing of animals that are deemed unfit to be "liberated"), not the opinion of all 2 million (if indeed that is an accurate estimate) members. Would you say that Alec Baldwin, or any Holywood liberal who has offered support for PETA, is an animal rights militant? IMO that is obviously not the case.

jooball
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May 23 2010 23:06

Hughes wrote:

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Finally, I must ask: I notice you registered less than 25 minutes ago. You wouldn't happen to be another member of the board who's signed up under a separate name merely to start a flame war, would you? If this is not the case...my apologies. I'll take you at your word.

I signed up under my own steam after my partner (already on this board) showed me this thread, having already posted up a comment of his own. We're sharing the same laptop, so the comment attributed to me, saying

Quote:
You know what? Fuck off! Last word. (for Obi wanker nobi)

is actually from Wellclose Square.
As for me I am still hurting from the abandonment of my so-called friends. It may be very honourable to house some rescued beagles but my experience also calls for compassion and support both of which were severely lacking. I suppose I am saying that don't confuse animal rights activists with being honourable people - they are just as fallible and lacking as anyone else. For my part, I found more support and practical help from Sun reading locals at the pub. Don't confuse moral high ground relating to animal rights as making a 'better person' that is not the truth as I know it.
I suppose I am saying that being a hard lined vegan and doing all the right stuff in animal rights terms does not make you a better person. For me, I am fighting for the rights for young people with severe and complex learning disabilities. Its not as sexy as fighting for the rights of guinea pigs or laboratory beagles.

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May 23 2010 23:16
Vlad336 wrote:

That phrasing is not very clear. In what sense are animals property according to AMR? People have owned animals, as pets, beasts of burden, and so forth, for thousands of years. Many species of animals came into being as a result of human beings owning (and domesticating) their wild ancestors. The animal as property is not a concept that is congruent with that of private property in a capitalist society. They mean different things, and so I think it needs to be established that the goals of AMR are ultimately different than those of "the anti-capitalist left" (a concept that itself requires explanations), and so a comparison in numbers is perhaps not that relevant. There are definitely more people who support liberal causes out there; that doesn't mean liberalism is beneficent for the working class and that communists are wrong.

Animals, in a legal sense, are literally considered property in every country on earth. In the eyes of the law, there is little difference between a pig and an old shoe. Both are mere commodities with no inherent value. The animal rights movement, at least as I understand it, seeks to end all animal use for food, fashion, research and entertainment. In practical terms, this would mean no longer breeding domesticated animals. Obviously that's a distant goal.

Quote:
That is simply one person (in a position of power, so obv. she will emphasize the party line, not the actual practices which include, as you point out the killing of animals that are deemed unfit to be "liberated"), not the opinion of all 2 million (if indeed that is an accurate estimate) members. Would you say that Alec Baldwin, or any Holywood liberal who has offered support for PETA, is an animal rights militant? IMO that is obviously not the case.

Obviously not. I doubt the average PETA member or supporter, celebrity or not, knows of PETA's ideological radicalism. Still, an organization of its size (the number I quoted comes directly from the PETA website) endorsing such a radical position is significant.

But again, I'm not entirely wedded to the notion that the ARM is the fastest growing movement of the past forty years. It was an off-hand remark.

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May 23 2010 23:13
jooball wrote:
As for me I am still hurting from the abandonment of my so-called friends. It may be very honourable to house some rescued beagles but my experience also calls for compassion and support both of which were severely lacking. I suppose I am saying that don't confuse animal rights activists with being honourable people - they are just as fallible and lacking as anyone else. For my part, I found more support and practical help from Sun reading locals at the pub. Don't confuse moral high ground relating to animal rights as making a 'better person' that is not the truth as I know it.
I suppose I am saying that being a hard lined vegan and doing all the right stuff in animal rights terms does not make you a better person. For me, I am fighting for the rights for young people with severe and complex learning disabilities. Its not as sexy as fighting for the rights of guinea pigs or laboratory beagles.

At this point, you're fighting a straw-man. I am well aware that animal rights activists are just as flawed and lacking as everyone else. Also, I think its great you fight for people with severe learning disabilities.

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May 23 2010 23:13
Nyarlathotep wrote:
Farce wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:
Kind of like what the social-fascists in Germany said about Marinus van der Lubbe or anyone else who actually took a principled stand of resistance against Nazi barbarism

If I was going to give an example to show why violent tactics are justified, I really, really, really wouldn't give the burning of the Reichstag.

Ha ha, I assume you are referring to the allied anti-fascist imperialist interpretation of historical events, in which the left-wing "extremism" of the communist ultra-left somehow forced or encouraged the right-wing "extremism" of the emergent Nazi party.

Obviously this in no way accounts for a scientific interpretation of the material causes of totalitarian policy among the Nazi regime.

Nah, I'm aware that Nazism was ultimately a product of the needs of German national capital in the 20s and 30s. That in no way contradicts thinking that there were some factors that made the Nazi project easier, and some that made it harder, and I'd say the Reichstag fire falls clearly into the first category. I don't think that Bush's foreign policy was caused by 9/11, but I do think that 9/11 made life much easier for him.

Hughes wrote:
Quote:
So if we're not debating the actual merits of the causes, and we're not debating the effectiveness of the tactics, what exactly are we talking about?

I was hoping to discuss what factors have contributed to the rise in animal rights activism since the 1970s in addition to discussing what factors contributed to the decrease in anti-capitalist activism over the same period.

I don't think you can completely separate that from a discussion of the effectiveness of the tactics, though. There might be more militant attacks carried out by AR activists, but if those are actually counter-productive then that needs to be a part of the discussion.

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May 23 2010 23:18
Farce wrote:
I don't think you can completely separate that from a discussion of the effectiveness of the tactics, though. There might be more militant attacks carried out by AR activists, but if those are actually counter-productive then that needs to be a part of the discussion.

Fair enough. I guess my main goal was that the discussion have less vitriol.

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May 23 2010 23:18
Farce wrote:
I don't think you can completely separate that from a discussion of the effectiveness of the tactics, though. There might be more militant attacks carried out by AR activists, but if those are actually counter-productive then that needs to be a part of the discussion.

Fair enough. I guess my main goal was that the discussion have less vitriol.

no1
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May 23 2010 23:21
Hughes wrote:
no1 wrote:
I didn't say the issues are the same, but the attraction for people who get involved in them. When people convince themselves that it falls on them to save and liberate beings (be they animals or fetuses) that can't even speak for themselves, a tremendous moral urgency develops. Personally I believe liberation can only be self-emancipation.

So if I was breeding mentally retarded humans, who could not emancipate themselves, to be forced organ donors, you would not act?

If I could act, I would, because I can see how I or people I know might end up on your organ breeding farm. I think people shouldn't treat animals cruelly, but less so because of the animals and more because of what it does to people. For example there's a well-known connection between psychopatic serial murderers who often tortured animals when they were children.
IMO it's also not very healthy to identify with animals. The whole idea that animals shouldn't be mistreated because they are sentient just leads to absurd contradictions. Just imagine you're a rabbit, how incredibly horrible would it be to be bitten and torn apart by a wolf, or have your neck broken out of the blue by an eagle attacking from above, or be devoured alive by a snake and then slowly digested. How can we just sit here and chat on an internet forum while such cruel things are happening on the planet. If we must prevent cruelty to animals, surely we'd have to kill all carnivorous animals right? Or go for the 'humane' approach and force-feed them a vegan diet?

bootsy
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May 23 2010 23:28

Hughes said:

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most trace the origins of the modern Animal Rights movement to the publication of Peter Singer's "Animal Liberation" in 1975

Just to be a little pedantic, you do realize that Singer doesn't believe in animal rights?

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May 23 2010 23:33
no1 wrote:
For example there's a well-known connection between psychopatic serial murderers who often tortured animals when they were children. IMO it's also not very healthy to identify with animals.

It appears, if I'm reading you correctly here, that you contradict yourself.

no1 wrote:
The whole idea that animals shouldn't be mistreated because they are sentient just leads to absurd contradictions. Just imagine you're a rabbit, how incredibly horrible would it be to be bitten and torn apart by a wolf, or have your neck broken out of the blue by an eagle attacking from above, or be devoured alive by a snake and then slowly digested. How can we just sit here and chat on an internet forum while such cruel things are happening on the planet. If we must prevent cruelty to animals, surely we'd have to kill are carnivorous animals right? Or go for the 'humane' approach and force-feed them a vegan diet?

Animals, like mentally disabled humans and young human infants, cannot be held responsible for unethical behavior because they're unable to comprehend morality.

Anyway, you're correct that we cannot prevent all animal suffering. But we can easily prevent that suffering WE are responsible for, in a systematic sense, by embracing a vegan diet. Not only is it the moral thing to do, its good for our health, the environment, and the global poor.

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May 23 2010 23:30
bootsy wrote:
Hughes said:
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most trace the origins of the modern Animal Rights movement to the publication of Peter Singer's "Animal Liberation" in 1975

Just to be a little pedantic, you do realize that Singer doesn't believe in animal rights?

I do. He's a utilitarian, so he doesn't believe in "rights" for anyone--human or animal.

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May 23 2010 23:37
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I do. He's a utilitarian, so he doesn't believe in "rights" for anyone--human or animal.

Do you think it is also of note that Singer thinks newborn children are not human and that it is morally permissible to kill them (albeit humanely) and that he also believes global poverty will be alleviated by westerners giving up the bulk of their income to charity?

I'm just pointing out that one of the intellectual godfathers of the animal rights movement doesn't seem to be very concerned with how his abstract theories play out in reality.

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May 23 2010 23:42

I don't subscribe to Singer's utilitarianism whatsoever, so I'm the last person to ask to defend him. I'm much closer to Gary Francione's conception of animal rights. That said, not mentioning the publication of "Animal Liberation" in a history of the modern animal protection movement would be negligent.

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May 23 2010 23:55
bootsy wrote:
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I do. He's a utilitarian, so he doesn't believe in "rights" for anyone--human or animal.

Do you think it is also of note that Singer thinks newborn children are not human and that it is morally permissible to kill them (albeit humanely) and that he also believes global poverty will be alleviated by westerners giving up the bulk of their income to charity?

But, to be fair, let me be pedantic on Singer's behalf for a brief moment.

My understanding, on the infanticide issue, is not that he doesn't believe newborn babies to be human--obviously they are--but they don't meet the criteria of being "people." In essence, he extends the pro-choice position longer than the majority of us are comfortable with.

In regard to the global poverty issue, I don't think he ever suggests "it will be alleviated by westerners giving up the bulk of their income to charity." My understanding is he argues westerners have a moral responsibility to give, whether they do so or not.

But again, I don't stand behind Singer's utilitarianism. Many of his positions sicken me and certainly lead to a moral slippery slope--as most utilitarianism does.

madashell's picture
madashell
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Joined: 19-06-06
May 23 2010 23:55
Hughes wrote:
mentally disabled humans...cannot be held responsible for unethical behavior because they're unable to comprehend morality.

Do you even have the slightest clue what you're on about?