Nth Degree Ethics

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It is a new publication, and we like its irreverence.  Challenging vegan ethics, at least to those of us still carnivorously inclined, is a task best carried out by such audacious writers and editors tasked with building an audience (that actually reads) from scratch.  We wish Aeon the best and will point to it whenever the story seems worth passing on, and can recommend this for starters (as if the picture did not already capture your imagination):

The animal rights movement wants to prevent the most powerful species on the planet from oppressing every other species, just as human rights campaigners try to stop the most powerful people from oppressing those who are least powerful. The problem, they say, is ‘human privilege’, a privilege that almost all of us abuse.

Yet the injustice they’re fighting is not the entire apparatus of human domination (even if some activists think that’s what they’re against). Rather, it is one significant aspect of it: our treatment of animals as resources — as food, clothing, entertainment, and subjects of research. Animals feel pain and care about their survival, and so their advocates say we should expand our circle of concern beyond humans to the rest of the animal kingdom.

According to animal rights theory, respecting the interests of animals in this way would mean abolishing the use of them as resources. So we’d all have to become vegans who neither eat animals nor use any other animal products. Vegan advocates face a daunting challenge, though, since most of us have a strong prejudice in favour of humans. This makes it relatively difficult for us to empathise with non-humans, so we are reluctant to give up the spoils of animal domination — meat, eggs, cheese, wool, fur and leather — and exchange them for tofu, pleather (plastic leather) and animal liberation.

To read the whole article click the image above.

11 thoughts on “Nth Degree Ethics

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