vegan muse

Archive for the ‘total liberation’ Category

Mapping Society along Ecological Lines

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Cairns Birdwing
What can the butterfly teach us?

Social ecology is an appeal not only for moral regeneration but also, and above all, for social reconstruction along ecological lines.” – Murray Bookchin

Social ecology seeks to philosophically fuse the natural world (first nature) with that of human society (second nature), saturating the latter in the roots of the former. By appealing for moral regeneration, social ecology strives to socially reconstruct present-day society along ecological lines.

Society is in need of identifying and replacing forms of social domination associated with our economic system. Social ecology presents such a case. It claims that the environmental crisis is a result of the hierarchical organization of power and the authoritarian mentality rooted in the structures of our society. The Western ideology of dominating the natural world arises from these social relationships. As Bookchin argues, if we are to change human society, our relationship with the rest of nature will inevitably become transformed.

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Abolishing Exploitation: Francione’s Case for Animal Rights

With respect to animal rights, the welfarist reform differs in kind, not degree, from the abolitionist reform. The former seeks quantitative measures, arguing degree of exploitation. The latter, the abolitionist reform, seeks qualitative measures, arguing moral inconsistencies. Francione writes: “We have historically justified our exploitation of nonhumans on the ground that there is a qualitative distinction between the minds of humans and other animals.”

The following briefly describes Professor Francione’s Theory of Animal Rights, in his words. For a thorough explanation of Francione’s abolitionist theory of animal rights, visit his website, Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach.

We ought to abolish animal exploitation and not seek merely to regulate it.”

Francione on Animal Voices, CIUT 89.5 FM in Toronto, Canada

“Our only justification for the pain, suffering, and death inflicted on these billions of nonhumans is that we enjoy the taste of meat and dairy products. And if we really do take seriously that it is wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering on nonhumans, our enjoyment in eating animal products cannot be a morally acceptable justification. Our only use of animals that is not transparently trivial is the use of animals in experiments intended to find cures for serious human illnesses. But even in this context, there are serious questions about the necessity of animal use. Because of the biological differences between humans and other animals, there is always a problem extrapolating the results of animal experiments to humans. The data produced by animal use are often unreliable. For example, results from toxicity tests using animals can vary dramatically depending on the method that is used. Considerable empirical evidence indicates that, in many instances, reliance on animal models in experiments has actually been counterproductive. For example, the failure to create an animal model of lung cancer led researchers to ignore evidence of a strong correlation of smoking and lung cancer in humans.”

Moral Schizophrenia

“We kill billions of nonhumans every year for reasons that cannot plausibly be considered as “necessary” even though we maintain that we accept that it is wrong to inflict “unnecessary” suffering on animals. When it comes to other animals, we humans exhibit what can best be described as moral schizophrenia. We say one thing about how animals should be treated, and we turn right around and do another.”

“If we recognized that all sentient beings had a basic, moral right not to be treated as property and that we had a moral duty to stop treating sentient beings as resources, we would stop bringing domestic animals into existence for our use. Recognizing “animal rights” does not mean letting all domestic animals run free in the streets. It means caring for those whom we have caused to come into existence. And not bringing anymore into existence to use for food, clothing, entertainment, or experiments. If we took the interests of animals seriously, we would stop bringing domestic animals into existence. There is no reason-other than our pleasure, amusement, or convenience-to eat animal meat or dairy, wear animals, hunt animals, or use animals in entertainment.”

An abolitionist and a welfarist: Professor Francione and Erik Marcus debate

Note: All thoughts in quotations are those of Gary L. Francione.

Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic

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Aldo Leopold (1887 – 1948), life-long fisherman and hunter, was employed by the U.S. Forest Service before becoming the first professor of Wildlife Management at the University of Wisconsin. He died from acute myocardial infarction at the age of 61.

Leopold’s Community Concept

“…the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. His instincts prompt him to compete for his place in the community, but his ethics prompt him also to cooperate (perhaps in order that there may be a place to compete for).”

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Written by Ethan Handur

January 25, 2008 at 8:41

Tom Regan’s Case for Animal Rights

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Tom Regan is Professor of philosophy at North Carolina State University and a leading animal rights advocate. His best known work is in the form of his book The Case for Animal Rights (1983).

Regan’s position on animal rights and how it differs from that of Singer’s.

Regan disagrees with Singer’s utilitarian program for animal liberation, for he rejects utilitarianism as lacking a notion of intrinsic worth. According to Regan, animals and humans all have equal intrinsic value on which their right to life and concern are based. This is precisely where Regan and Singer philosophically differ as Singer does not take into account this intrinsic value that Regan argues for; that utilitarianism lacks.

Regan calls for the total abolition of the use of animals in science, the total dissolution of the commercial animal agriculture system, and the total elimination of commercial and sport hunting and trapping. Regan writes, “The fundamental wrong is the system that allows us to view animals as our resources, here for us – to be eaten, or surgically manipulated, or put in our cross hairs for sport and money.” As Regan so eloquently puts it, “People must change their beliefs before they change their habits. Enough people, especially those elected to public office, must believe in change – must want it – before we will have laws that protect the rights of animals.”

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Written by Ethan Handur

January 15, 2008 at 13:25

Peter Singer’s Case for Animal Liberation

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Peter Singer is Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and is considered one of the world’s most influential people. His book Animal Liberation (1975) is the most influential book written on the subject, having in a sense started the animal rights movement. Singer argues that animal liberation today is analogous to racial and gender justice in the past. Just as people once thought it incredible that women or blacks should be treated as equal to white men, so now speciesists mock the idea that all animals should be given equal consideration. What equalizes all sentient beings is our ability to suffer. In that, we and animals are equal and deserving equal consideration of interests. Singer’s argument is a utilitarian one, having as its goal the maximization of interest satisfaction.

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Written by Ethan Handur

January 13, 2008 at 10:47

Buddhist Prayer for Animal Liberation

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An emotionally charged video that carries the message of truth and love.

Be Well.

Written by Ethan Handur

November 3, 2007 at 6:03

Vegetarianism

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The following briefly touches upon Michael Allen Fox’s arguments for vegetarianism (veganism) and focuses upon his 1999 book entitled ‘Deep Vegetarianism‘.

“Detailed, thorough, and wide-ranging, this is the most comprehensive, original work on philosophical vegetarianism to date. Deep Vegetarianism addresses the cultural, historical and philosophical backgrounds for vegetarianism, details the impact to vegetarianism on one’s thinking and living, relates vegetarianism to recent defenses of the moral status of animals, and very ably considers all the significant arguments for and against vegetarianism.”Evelyn B. Pluhar, author of Beyond Prejudice: The Moral Significance of Human and Nonhuman Animals

Fox’s Purpose

1. To convince you to adopt vegetarianism (veganism);
2. Fox thinks you should not consume any sentient being.

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