H. J. McCloskey on Animal Rights

Animal Ethics

The issue as to who or what may be a possessor of rights is not simply a matter of academic, conceptual interest. If, for instance, it is determined that gravely mentally defective human beings and monsters born of human parents are not the kinds of beings who may possess rights, this bears on how we may treat them. Similarly, important conclusions follow from the question as to whether animals have rights.

Getting Emotional

Creature Talk

Sometimes being an animal rights advocate is emotionally exhausting. Last night I was watching Animal Planet, as I often do, and the show was about polar bears in the wild. There was a mama polar bear and her 2 cubs who were not yet full grown, but also not tiny. Due to lack of food, a big male polar bear was following the threesome in the hopes that he could eat one of the cubs (apparently they will eat their own kind if they can’t find other food).

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On Jeff Corwin's 100 HEARTBEATS

Animal Person

Here's the good news: This is a very readable explanation of how animals in the Hundred Heartbeat Club (there are 100 or fewer individuals in the wild today) got to be in the club. In other words, we can change the way we think about animals. Cultural attitudes about animals can change.

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Moral Vegetarianism, Part 3 of 13

Animal Ethics

Most moral vegetarians list fish and fowl as animals one should not eat. First, it may be argued that only animals who can feel pain are not to be eaten. KBJ: Nobody in the animal-rights or animal-liberation movement views intelligence as a morally significant property, at least intrinsically. Whatever one thinks about voluntary cannibalism among humans, it may be argued that the situation is very different with animals.