- Animals: What We Say and What We Do:
- Statistics on “animal lovers” & the majority in favour of animals’ rights to be free of suffering. Statistics on expenditure on pets, and – as an example - $800k spent rescuing 3 whales stuck under Alaskan ice.
- Contrasting statistics on our use of animals for:-
- Food: an interesting statistic was that 7.9 bn of the 8 bn animals killed each year for food are chickens. That still leaves a lot of non-chickens, of course.
- Hunting: a big issue in the USA – 200m killed / year and maybe the same again injured but not “retrieved”.
- Biomedical experimentation
- Entertainment: this is rather a mixed bag1 and includes zoos, circuses, horse and dog racing, marine mammal shows, rodeos and bullfighting.
- It’s not just the numbers, but the poor treatment “industrial” animals receive before and durig their end.
- So – in summary – we claim to think animals have morally-signficant interests, but our treatment of them belies such claims.
- Our Conventional Wisdom:Can We Prefer Humas But Only When “Necessary”? :
- Intuition 1: We Can Prefer Humans in Situations of “Necessity”
- Intuition 2: It Is Wrong to Inflict “Unnecessary” Suffering on Animals
- The Humane Treatment Principle: A Prohibition against “Unnecessary” Animal Suffering:
- The Problem: We Do Not Practice What We Preach:
- Animals as Property: An Unbalanced Balance:
- The Solution: Taking Animal Interests Seriously:
- The Concept of Rights:
- The Basic Right Not to Be Treated as a Thing:
- Animal Rights3:
- What About the Burning House?:
- Confusion about Animal Ethics:
- Earlier Approaches:
- A Word about “Proving” Moral Matters:
- Animal Minds:
- An Outline of the Book:
- In Chapters 1 and 2, we will explore what I call “moral schizophrenia” about animals. We all claim to accept the humane treatment principle and to agree that inflicting unnecessary suffering on animals is morally wrong. Nevertheless, the overwhelming portion of our animal use cannot be described as necessary in any coherent or meaningful sense.
- In Chapter 3, we will see that the reason for our schizophrenia is related to the status of animals as property. As long as we regard animals as things that we own and they have only that value which we accord them, animal suffering will almost always be considered necessary as long as it provides some benefit for us as property owners.
- In Chapter 4, we will explore the cure for our moral schizophrenia: the application of the principle of equal consideration, which requires that we extend to animals the basic right not to be treated as human property and that we abolish animal exploitation.
- In Chapter 5, we will consider whether there are any sound moral reasons that would justify our not extending this basic right to animals.
- In Chapter 6, we will consider as a historical matter how the humane treatment principle went wrong and why we thought that we could treat animals as having moral status while at the same time we continued to use them as our resources.
- In Chapter 7, we will discuss whether we can preserve our intuition that we may prefer humans in situations of true emergency or conflict while at the same time we accept the position that all sentient nonhumans possess a basic right not to be treated as things and that we may not use animals as our resources.
- In the Appendix, I will discuss twenty commonly asked questions about animal rights4, and I will endeavor to provide answers to those questions.
- Francione’s Kantian approach to animal rights leads him to lump together gross ills with “jobs”.
- Many – maybe most – human beings have tought lives which are not much fun. There are few free lunches for humans or other animals.
- That’s not to say that the majority of human and non-human animals should not be better treated, but “treatment” isn’t the root of the problem for Francione – rather, moral “status” is.
- Francione entitles this “fashion”, but the use of animal skins for clothing has long historical precedent – substantially a necessity.
- This is one of the least justifiable present uses, except where skins are a by-product of other uses.
- However, the examples given are of animals bred specifically for the fashion industry.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)