Monday, November 24, 2008

Animal Rights

The Rights Of Animals
California voters have put the animal-rights movement squarely in the mainstream. Will we all soon be vegans?

Peter Singer

The notion that animals should have rights was widely ridiculed when it was first advocated in the 1970s. Now it is getting more respect. The movement has gained tens of millions of adherents and has already persuaded the European Union to require that all hens have room to stretch their wings, perch and lay their eggs in a nest box, and to phase out keeping pigs and veal calves in individual crates too narrow for them to walk or turn around. And earlier this month Californians voted 63 percent to 37 percent for a measure that, beginning in 2015, gives all farm animals the right to stand up, lie down, turn around and fully extend their limbs. The state's 45 major egg producers will have to rip out the cages that now hold 19 million hens, and either put in new and larger cages with fewer birds or, more likely, keep the birds on the floor in large sheds. California's sole large-scale pig-factory farm will also have to give all its pigs room to turn around.

Pressure on other states to grant the same basic freedoms may prove irresistible. Many people see this movement as a logical continuation of the fight against racism and sexism, and believe that the concept of animal rights will soon be as commonplace as equal pay and opportunities for women and minorities. If that happens—and I believe it will—the effects on the food we eat, how we produce it and the place of animals in our society will be profound.

If this sounds radical, so did suffrage and civil rights a few decades ago. The notion that we should recognize the rights of animals living among us rests on a firm ethical foundation. A sentient being is sentient regardless of which species it happens to belong to. Pain is pain, whether it is the pain of a cat, a dog, a pig or a child. Read More

Peter Singer would love nothing more than to see this country go vegan. This author of animal liberation books thinks more along the lines of terrorist animal rights groups than typical families. But since he is a professor at Princeton, many will give him undeserved respect on this issue. Activist professors on our campuses can be a big problem for agriculture, and Singer is probably one of the biggest.


Anonymous said...

Well said! If you want to read about the illogical Dr. Singer, there is a great book on this whole issue, The Animal Research War, which really takes him to task!

Bea Elliott said...

It's not Peter Singer you should be wary of... Singer is a welfarist. And probably would not condemn many for indulging in "happy meat"...

I think "the Movement" has progressed beyond Singer to the eloquent Professor Gary Francione's Abolitionist Approach. Therein lies the crux of ethics and law and animals as "property".

I am certain you will not post this comment as you've refused to post any others...

That's interesting, because on my blog I've encouraged debate on all sides. Guess that's what happens when you hold the "moral high ground". Good day.

Bea Elliott said...

Oh... and I forgot to ask - If radical "animal rights" professors on campuses are of concern to you, should we expect some books to be burned next?

Troy Hadrick said...

The only posts I have ever rejected on here are ones that only put a link to someone's website. I don't think you have done that Bea. I posted one by you just a couple of weeks ago. Can you tell me any that I have not posted? I too encourage debate by all sides. In fact, a while back a post was left by an employee of Farm Sanctuary. I responded with some questions and she refused to answer them even after contacting her at her office. So don't preach to me Bea.

Nobody wants any books burned just the truth put out and presenting all sides. People like Singer only teach their personal feeling rather than the facts.

Hopefully someday you can learn the truth about modern production agriculture and the role animals must play in our food production system.

Troy Hadrick said...

I would also be interested in hearing your ideas for doubling food production by the middle of this century. This is the heart of this debate You obviously would like to take meat out of the equation, so how are you going to replace that food source and increase total production.