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How to Confront Cruelty

Critter News

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.

Cruelty 100
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John Passmore (1914-2004) on Animal Suffering

Animal Ethics

They had a direct effect on seventeenth-century behavior as manifested, for example, in the popularity of public vivisections, not as an aid to scientific discovery but simply as a technical display. These teachings, it should be observed, were more than metaphysical speculations.


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On ANIMAL EQUALITY, by Joan Dunayer

Animal Person

Dunayer devotes a chapter each to the language used in hunting, zoos, "marine parks," vivisection and "animal agriculture." I haven't examined each institutionalized use of animals the way that Dunayer has, with the possible exception of vivisection, and I learned a lot about the details of the language of each industry.

Animal 100
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John Passmore (1914-2004) on the Moral Status of Animals

Animal Ethics

In other words, what they hated—and by no means perversely—was the enjoyment of animal suffering; to the mere fact that the bears suffered as a consequence of human action they were indifferent. That, on the whole, is the Christian tradition. Controversies no doubt remain.

Morals 40
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John Passmore (1914-2004) on the History of Animal Cruelty

Animal Ethics

Whereas it once used to be argued, as by Newman , that the least human good compensates for any possible amount of animal suffering, the current doctrine is that it requires a considerable good to compensate for such suffering. The degree of restriction placed on human behavior, furthermore, is relatively slight.