Fair enough; many philosophers have gone this far. But fewer have taken the next logical step. If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit nonhumans for the same purpose? This is the nub of Singers argument, and right around here i began scribbling objections in the margin. But humans differ from animals in morally significant ways. Yes they do, singer acknowledges, which is why we shouldnt treat pigs and children alike. Equal consideration of interests is not the same as equal treatment, he points out: children have an interest in being educated; pigs, in rooting around in the dirt.
Civil Disobedience (Thoreau) - wikipedia
This is not something Id recommend if youre determined to continue eating meat. Combining rigorous philosophical argument with journalistic description, Animal Liberation is one of those rare books that demand that you either defend the way you live or change. Because singer is so skilled in argument, for many readers it is easier to change. His book has converted countless thousands to vegetarianism, and it didnt take long for me to see why: within a few pages, he had succeeded in throwing me on the defensive. Singers argument is disarmingly simple and, if you accept its premises, difficult to refute. Take the premise of equality, which most people readily accept. Yet what do we about really mean by it? People are not, as a matter of fact, equal at allsome are smarter than others, better looking, more gifted. Equality oral is a moral idea, singer points out, not an assertion of fact. The moral idea is that everyones interests ought to receive equal consideration, regardless of what abilities they may possess.
John Berger wrote an essay, why look at Animals? In which he suggested that the loss of everyday contact between ourselves and animalsand specifically the loss of eye contacthas left us deeply confused about the terms of our relationship to other species. That eye contact, always slightly uncanny, had provided a vivid daily reminder that animals were at once crucially like and unlike us; in their eyes we glimpsed something presentation unmistakably familiar (pain, fear, tenderness) and something irretrievably alien. Upon this paradox people built a relationship in which they felt they could both honor and eat animals without looking away. But that accommodation has pretty much broken down; nowadays, it seems, we either look away or become vegetarians. For my own part, neither option seemed especially appetizing. Which might explain how I found myself reading Animal Liberation in a steakhouse.
Half the dogs in America will receive christmas presents this year, yet few of us pause to consider the miserable life of the pigan animal easily as intelligent as a dogthat becomes the Christmas ham. We tolerate this disconnect because the life of the pig has moved out of view. Whens the last time you saw a pig? (Babe doesnt count.) Except for our pets, real animalsanimals living and dyingno longer figure in our everyday lives. Meat comes from the grocery store, where it is cut and packaged to look as little like parts of animals as possible. The disappearance of animals from our lives has opened a space in which theres no reality check, either on the sentiment or the brutality. This is pretty much where we live now, with respect to animals, and it is a space in which the peter Singers and Frank perdues of the world can evidently thrive equally well. Several years ago, the English critic.
Old Major's Speech in Animal Farm: a book by george Orwell
Thirty-seven states have recently passed laws making some forms of animal cruelty a crime, 21 of them by ballot initiative. Following protests by activists, McDonalds and Burger King forced significant improvements in the wells way the. Meat industry slaughters animals. Agribusiness and the cosmetics and apparel industries are all struggling to defuse mounting public concerns over animal welfare. Once thought of as a left-wing concern, the movement now cuts across ideological lines. Perhaps the most eloquent recent plea on behalf of animals, a new book called Dominion, was written by a former speechwriter for President Bush. And once outlandish ideas are finding their way into mainstream opinion.
A recent Zogby poll found that 51 percent of Americans believe that primates are entitled to the same rights as human children. What is going on here? A certain amount of cultural confusion, for one thing. For at the same time many people seem eager to extend states the circle of our moral consideration to animals, in our factory farms and laboratories we are inflicting more suffering on more animals than at any time in history. One by one, science is dismantling our claims to uniqueness as a species, discovering that such things as culture, tool making, language and even possibly self-consciousness are not the exclusive domain of Homo sapiens. Yet most of the animals we kill lead lives organized very much in the spirit of Descartes, who famously claimed that animals were mere machines, incapable of thought or feeling. Theres a schizoid quality to our relationship with animals, in which sentiment and brutality exist side by side.
Eating animals, wearing animals, experimenting on animals, killing animals for sport: all these practices, so resolutely normal to us, will be seen as the barbarities they are, and we will come to view speciesisma neologism I had encountered before only in jokesas a form. Even in 1975, when Animal Liberation was first published, singer, an Australian philosopher now teaching at Princeton, was confident that he had the wind of history at his back. The recent civil rights past was prologue, as one liberation movement followed on the heels of another. Slowly but surely, the white mans circle of moral consideration was expanded to admit first blacks, then women, then homosexuals. In each case, a group once thought to be so different from the prevailing we as to be undeserving of civil rights was, after a struggle, admitted to the club.
Now it was animals turn. That animal liberation is the logical next step in the forward march of moral progress is no longer the fringe idea it was back in 1975. A growing and increasingly influential movement of philosophers, ethicists, law professors and activists are convinced that the great moral struggle of our time will be for the rights of animals. So far the movement has scored some of its biggest victories in Europe. Earlier this year, germany became the first nation to grant animals a constitutional right: the words and animals were added to a provision obliging the state to respect and protect the dignity of human beings. The farming of animals for fur was recently banned in England. In several European nations, sows may no longer be confined to crates nor laying hens to battery cagesstacked wired cages so small the birds cannot stretch their wings. The Swiss are amending their laws to change the status of animals from things to beings. Though animals are still very much things in the eyes of American law, change is in the air.
China moon cookbook: Barbara Tropp, sandra Bruce
If he were a religious man, he would be one of the most truly religious and reverential; he has a very high and noble nature, and better worth immortality than most." Although Melville never corresponded with Hawthorne biography again, he did not forget him. He continued to read and annotate hawthorne's works after the latter's death in 1864 (Melville's copies of Hawthorne texts are preserved in Harvard's houghton Library the reserved and finally unresponsive traveler Vine in Clarel is widely considered to have been based on Hawthorne; and the. Return to melville home page Please address all correspondence on this Site to the life and Works of Herman Melville is brought to you by multiverse). By michael Pollan, the new York times Magazine, november 10, 2002, the first time i opened. Peter Singers, animal Liberation, i was dining alone at the palm, trying to enjoy a rib-eye steak cooked medium-rare. If this sounds like a good recipe for cognitive dissonance (if not indigestion that was sort of the idea. Preposterous as it might seem, to supporters of animal rights, what I was doing was tantamount to reading Uncle toms Cabin on a plantation in the deep south in 1852. Singer and the swelling ranks of his followers ask us to imagine a future in which people will look back on my meal, and this steakhouse, as relics of an equally backward age.
have come to feel that Hawthorne was not as profoundly sympathetic and responsive as he had at first seemed; for his part, hawthorne was unsuccesful in using his long-established connections with Franklin pierce to secure a government post for the impoverished Melville,. The two men met for the last time in november 1856: en route to the mediterranean Melville stopped in liverpool, where hawthorne had been appointed American Consul; the two spent several days together, which Hawthorne recorded in his journal as follows: "Herman Melville came. We soon found ourselves on pretty much our former terms of sociability and confidence. Melville has not been well, of late;. And no doubt has suffered from too constant literary occupation, pursued without much success, latterly; and his writings, for a long while past, have indicated a morbid state of mind. Melville, as he always does, began to reason of Providence and futurity, and of everything that lies beyond human ken, and informed me that he had "pretty much made up his mind to be annihilated but still he does not seem to rest in that. It is strange how he persists - and has persisted ever since i knew him, and probably long before - in wondering to-and-fro over these deserts, as dismal and monotonous as the sand hills amid which we were sitting. He can neither believe, nor be comfortable in his unbelief; and he is too honest and courageous not to try to do one or the other.
Early in the course of the excursion, a sudden thunderstorm forced the party to take shelter, giving Melville and Hawthorne an opportunity to become better acquainted. The two men took to each other at once, and as their conversation continued were delighted to discover a growing bond of mutual sympathy and comprehension. Two days later Hawthorne wrote to a friend "I liked Melville so online much that I have asked him to spend a few days with." This would be the first of a series of visits, supplemented by written correspondence, that would continue until the gradual. In the beginning the relationship was a great source of comfort and intellectual stimulation to melville, who believed he had finally found the soul mate for whom he had been yearning. Sophia hawthorne observed, "Mr. Melville, generally silent and uncommunicative, pours out the rich floods of his mind and experience to nathaniel Hawthorne, so sure of apprehension, so sure of a large and generous interpretation, and of the most delicate and fine judgment." Hawthorne's influence, in fact, is credited. In August of 1852 Melville wrote to hawthorne about the true story of a new England woman who had taken in and married a shipwrecked sailor only to be abandoned by him. "The Story of Agatha melville thought, would be a perfect subject for the application of Hawthorne's talents; the older man, however, felt little enthusiasm for the project and after a few desultory attempts suggested that Melville write the story himself. Melville agreed, but it is uncertain now whether he ever actually did anything with the material; at any rate, no published version of the story by him has been discovered.
The Irrational season (The Crosswicks journal, book
Melville and Nathaniel, hawthorneA page from, the life and. Works of, herman Melville, in the summer of 1850 Melville purchased an eighteenth-century farmhouse in the community of Pittsfield in Berkshire county, massachusetts. Berkshire was then home to a number of prominent literary figures such as Fanny kemble, oliver Wendell Holmes, james Russell Lowell, and, in Lenox, less than six miles from. The two authors met for the first time in Stockbridge on August 5, 1850, on a picnic excursion hosted by david Dudley field. Hawthorne was forty-six and was familiar with at least a portion of Melville's work, having favorably reviewed. Typee in the, salem Advertiser (March 25, 1846 melville was thirty-one and had just written or was about to write an exceedingly warm and enthusiastic piece on Hawthorne's. Mosses From an Old Manse, a copy of which had been given to him by an aunt a few weeks before.