July 30, 2004

Singer: Humans are sentient, too

Animal rights activist Peter Singer has a new article in the Guardian, Humans are Sentient, Too, in which he argues that violent animal liberation activists undermine the ethical basis of the animal rights movement itseself:
Those who oppose treating animals as if they were mere tools for research therefore have a strong ethical argument.

But when a few people use violence and intimidation to achieve the desired goal, they undermine the animal movement's ethical basis. In a democratic society, change should come about through education and persuasion, not intimidation.

Those who advocate violence may claim, with some justice, that the democratic process has been tried, and has failed.
Singer essentially says that extremism may well be the result of the frustration caused by the failure of the democratic process to lead to measures on which virtually everyone agrees.

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