vegan muse

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


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aurora borealis

“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors,
and let each new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin

Written by Ethan Handur

January 2, 2008 at 22:49

Posted in quotes

Amino Acids – A Brief Discussion

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The following briefly discusses amino acids in a plant-based diet.

Enzymes break down protein into four units, namely:

i) Polypeptides;
ii) Dipeptides;
iii) Peptides;
iv) Amino acids –> amino acids are the smallest unit of protein.

There are approximately twenty-two amino acids that are of interest to biochemists; eight of which are essential (the human body cannot generate or synthesize these) and fourteen that can be synthesized by the human body (derived from the eight essential ones).

In alphabetical order, the eight essential amino acids are:

i) Isoleucine
ii) Leucine
iii) Lysine
iv) Methionine
v) Phenylalanine
vi) Threonine
vii) Tryptophan
viii) Valine

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Written by Ethan Handur

December 24, 2007 at 22:34

Mother Earth’s Plea

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“I am Earth, your significant other
and your ailing, endangered mother.
I am treated much like a garbage can
by the selfish species; modern man.
Human birth rates are out of control!”
Mother Earth cries, “I’m paying the toll!
I can’t support all the lives that you bring,
You humans are a perplexing thing.
You breed cattle which erodes my topsoil,
You KILL for my depleted supply of oil,
You destroy my skies and pollute with noise!”
Planet Earth calms and gathers her poise.
“To illustrate my point, observe a tree,
who shares its oxygen and energy,
Peaceably growing up to the light,
Yet, it’s a target practice in some men’s sight!”
Our planet Earth continues to speak,
“You EAT rather than PROTECT the weak.
You needlessly kill animals for food.
All of my creatures, your diets’ include!”
Mother Earth quiets and ponders awhile
“Perhaps I should change my speaking style?
Instead, I will uplift with my beauty
To inspire is a true orator’s duty.”

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Written by Ethan Handur

December 19, 2007 at 20:21

Posted in environment, fauna, flora, writing and poetry

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Starch Made Us Human

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Photo: “Starch” by Yokoland

Traditionally, when scientists spared a thought for our hunting and gathering forebears, they focused on the hunters and the meat they brought in. But it may be that it was our ancestors’ less glamorous ability to gather, eat and digest roots, bulbs and tubers — the wild versions of what became carrots, onions and potatoes — that increased the size of our brains and made the hunt and the territorial expansion that came with it possible.

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Written by Ethan Handur

December 14, 2007 at 9:35

Posted in science

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What’s Wrong With Soy Milk?

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Can soy milk be hazardous to your health? Robert Cohen, also known as the ‘Not Milk Man‘ of, thinks so and has provided us with a thorough response. For those of you unfamiliar with Cohen, he is the founder and executive director of the U.S. Dairy Education Board, which works to dispel the myth that milk is a perfect food.

Cohen’s response can be read here.

An excerpt from Cohen’s article:

“Do methanol, ethanol, and formaldehyde do your body any good? Do preservatives preserve health, or do they merely preserve enormous profits gained by manufacturers at the expense of your health?”

This is a must read for anybody currently consuming or thinking of introducing soy milk into their diet. Also, it is important to note that I have chosen not to discuss the environmental impact of soy cultivation but will do so in a future post.

Man cannot pretend to be higher in ethics, spirituality, advancement, or civilization than other creatures, and at the same time live by lower standards than the vulture or hyena.” – Jay Dinshah (1933 – 2000)

Be Well.

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Written by Ethan Handur

November 4, 2007 at 15:39