Tom Regan on the Animal-Rights Movement

Animal Ethics

In issuing its condemnation of established cultural practices, the rights view is not antibusiness, not antifreedom of the individual, not antiscience, not antihuman. It is simply projustice, insisting only that the scope of justice be seen to include respect for the rights of animals. The animal rights movement is not for the faint of heart. Might does not make right; might does make law. Moral philosophy is no substitute for political action.

Majority Rules in the Language of Animal Rights

Animal Person

Here's a hint from the authors: In the end, it's not the grammarians and usage experts who decide what's right. The animal rights movement, such as it is, is experiencing somewhat of a crisis of usage. I feel for the purist also with regard to the terms "animal rights" and "abolition." I have a definition of animal rights and for abolition that makes me an animal rights activist and an abolitionist. So who's right?

Musings

Critter News

I'm reading a book about women in the American abolitionist movement. There are a lot of similarities between that movement and today's animal rights movement (such as it is.but that's another post). The drive to emancipate slaves was grounded on religious and moral grounds. There was tremendous moral energy, organization, networking, and credibility that came from the involvement of religious organizations and individuals.

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Hal Herzog's "Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat"

Animal Person

Hal Herzog’s “ Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat ” (Harper 2011), though fascinating, is ultimately depressing for vegans and animal rights activists. Over at Animal Rights and AntiOppression , we’ve been discussing tactics and sharing our thoughts and experiences about what works and doesn’t work when it comes to advocacy. Well, as it turns out neither a trip to a slaughterhouse nor killing an animal yourself is powerful enough to make people go vegan.

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How to Confront Cruelty

Critter News

I came across this 2005 book from the Society & Animals Journal titled Confronting Cruelty Moral Orthodoxy and the Challenge of the Animal Rights Movement. Responses to this question provide important insights into the much misunderstood animal rights movement and the people in it who challenge the moral orthodoxy that underpins our attitudes towards nonhuman animals. Tags: animal cruelty books

Are We Really a Movement?

Critter News

Last night, I watched "Milk," the film about assassinated gay rights activist Harvey Milk. I not only learned about Harvey Milk, but about the early stages of the gay rights movement (which is ongoing today when one looks at all the right-wing flutterings over gay marriage.) It made me think though about the animal rights movement. Are we really a social movement like gay rights and civil rights? Animals can't do that.

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Tom Regan on Utilitarianism

Animal Ethics

The initial attractiveness of utilitarianism as a moral theory on which to rest the call for the better treatment of animals was noted in an earlier context. Because animals are sentient (i.e., But utilitarianism is not the theory its initial reception by the animal rights movement may have suggested. To secure the philosophical foundation for animal rights requires abandoning utilitarianism. (

J. Baird Callicott on Environmental Ethics

Animal Ethics

There are intractable practical differences between environmental ethics and the animal liberation movement. Very different moral obligations follow in respect, most importantly, to domestic animals, the principal beneficiaries of the humane ethic. Environmental ethics sets a very low priority on domestic animals as they very frequently contribute to the erosion of the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic communities into which they have been insinuated.

Animal Companions

Animal Ethics

Here are three paragraphs from a recent essay by Roger Scruton : As I suggested, science provides authority for this weird morality only when clothed in moral doctrine. The sleight of hand that gave us the “selfish” gene gives us the rights of baboons. By abusing evolutionary biology in this way, we are able to read back the sophisticated conduct of people into the animal behavior that prefigures it. And that explains, in part, the appeal of the animal-rights movement.

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