July 17, 2008

Peter Singer: Of great apes and men

Peter Singer says that, as Spain takes one great step forward for animal rights and liberty, activists elsewhere are persecuted:
If we regard human rights as something possessed by all human beings, no matter how limited their intellectual or emotional capacities may be, how can we deny similar rights to great apes? To do so would be to display a prejudice against other beings merely because they are not members of our species - a prejudice we call speciesism, to highlight its resemblance to racism. The Spanish resolution marks the first official acceptance of that view. The use of the term "slavery" in relation to animals is especially significant, for it has been assumed that animals are rightly our slaves, to use as we wish, whether to pull our carts, be models of human diseases for research, or produce eggs, milk, or flesh for us to eat. Recognition by a government that it can be wrong to enslave animals is a significant breach in the wall of exclusive moral significance we have built around our own species. -- Peter Singer
Entire article.

July 6, 2008

What I've been reading: 2008-07-06