This is a presentation Dr. Carrie Freeman gave at the first annual Atlanta Veg Fest (www.atlantavegfest.com). The information is largely drawn from sources use in her dissertation's literature review. See works cited at end.
Animal Rights & Vegan Ethics Made Appetizing Carrie Packwood Freeman, PhD Assistant Professor of Communication – GSU Presentation Nov. 10, 2012 at Atlanta Veg Fest
Time to ShareQ: When people ask you why youare veg(etari)an, do you mentionother animals in your rationale?If so, what do youbriefly say?
Today We Will Be… Putting vegetarian ethics in context of animal ethics (animal welfare and animal rights). Putting animal ethics in historical context of Western philosophy. WHY? •To demonstrate ethical veganism has strong cultural roots. •To better define our own ethical convictions (for our own sense of moral integrity) •To better communicate our ethical rationales to others so we can speak up for exploited animals & cultivate more respectful worldviews (eating someone is more than just a personal preference. It’s a moral, political, and ecological issue)
My Talk will Cover… Historical Western philosophies on animal ethics and vegetarian ethics: Ancient Greece, Scientific Revolution (17th century), 18th & 19th century Modern philosophies on animal rights (vs. welfare) and eating animals: Utilitarian, duty-based, feminist, and legal.Source of most historicalreferences along with Current strategy debates in farmedLinzey & Clarke (2004) animal rights movement: Welfare (farming reform) versus abolition/rights (veganism)
Historical Views of Other Animals Ancient Times (500 B.C.E – 300 C.E.) GREEK PHILOSOPHY: Pythagoras and Plato saw physical & spiritual kinship between all animals. They acknowledged animal emotion and reason. Porphyry argued against their exploitation. But Aristotle saw nonhuman animals, women, and some men as natural slaves. WESTERN RELIGION: Pagan religions often worshipped animals. But Judeo-Christianity, which was to become the prevailing worldview, viewed humans as dominant and separate. We have dominion.
Historical Views on VegetarianismANCIENT TIMES: Pythagoras, Plutarch, Porphyry Vegetarian writers of this era critiqued violence, and often stated how the killing of animals for food is unjust because it is a “luxury” not a necessity. We aren’t carnivores. They also worried that human cruelty towards other animals desensitizes people toward cruelty to humans. Vegetarians were known as “Pythagoreans” He said vegetarianism was a “gentler nourishment” because it required no “bloodshed.”
Historical Views on Vegetarianism Plutarch also critiqued You call serpents and lions savage, but some cruel you yourselves, by your own foul farming slaughter, leave them no room to outdo practices. you in cruelty; for their slaughter is their living, yours is a mere appetizer. … But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy.Plutarch (56-120)
Historical Views on Vegetarianism Through the middle ages and the renaissance, Christianity thwarted vegetarianism, but not for Leonardo! I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.Leonardo DaVinci(1452 – 1519)
Historical Views of Other Animals 17th & Early 18th Centuries: Age of Enlightenment & Scientific Revolution Cartesianism: Scientist Rene Descartes promoted mind/body dualism as man/animal dualism. Animals are senseless automata. This enabled vivisection and limited discourse to welfare for centuries. Locke and Kant argued against using humans as a means to an end, but it was ethical to use nonhumans if it benefited humans. Animal cruelty was deemed bad because it made people inhumane to other people.
Historical Views of Other Animals 18th – 19th Century Sentience: Utilitarians Bentham and Mill, plus Schopenhauer, show concern for nonhuman animal sentience. They call for humane treatment and restriction of animal use, but deem food and some useful research still acceptable. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withheld from them but by the hand of tyranny… The question is not can they reason, nor can they talk, but can they suffer?Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
Historical Views on Vegetarianism18th Century 19th Century In resistance to Veg authors were often Cartesianism, veg anthropocentric, but authors defended animal they showed an sentience. increasing concern for Other writings suffering by including emphasized the idea vivid descriptions of that flesh-eating does slaughterhouse violence. not lead to a virtuous Some writings have a character. tone of pity for other(Mandeville, Shelley) animals as weak victims on whom humans ASPCA founded in should bestow charity. 1866 by Bergh. (Tolstoy, Dr. William Alcott, First conviction Thoreau, Dr. Anna was a butcher. Kingsford)
Quotes from 19th century Chicago Zoologist, J. Howard MooreCritiqued human bias and exploitation as criminal. “There is, in fact, but one great crime in the universe, and most of the instances of terrestrial wrong-doing are instances of this crime. It is the crime of exploitation – the considering by some beings of themselves as ends, and of others as their means – the refusal to recognize the equal, or the approximately equal, rights of all to life and its legitimate rewards – the crime of acting toward others as one would that others would not act toward him.” Moore referred to humans as the “butchers of the universe” and “a globeful of lip-virtuous felons!”
Historical Views of Other AnimalsLate 19th, Early 20th Century Dr. Albert Schweitzer Won the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of reverence for life (plants too). He said any harm to living things must be necessary to be ethical. “Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
Historical Views on Vegetarianism Henry Salt (turn of 20th century British teacher/author/activist): We are hypocrites to call ourselves civilized when we are violent/savage. He recognized that some animal harm is necessary to harvest plant crops, butNotice title. raising of animals for slaughter isIt was 1892! unnecessary harm. Like Tolstoy and Anna Kingsford, he saw vegetarianism as foundational to a virtuous life (and all justice movements). He influenced Gandhi.* They both believed the strongest reason to go vegetarian was for animal ethics, not health. Altruistic basis sustains all other motives and promotes evolution to higher ethics. * who were both influenced by fellow vegetarian Henry Thoreau.
Contemporary Animal Rights Viewpoints – 1970s on… PETER SINGER: equal interests for sentient beings Utilitarian – goal to do what most maximizes pleasure and minimizes pain. So focus is on animal suffering. What humans really value is people’s sentience, not intelligence. Many animal species are equally sentient as the human animal. To discriminate against them because they’re not human is “speciesist” – an unfounded group bias. So we must respect and consider nonhuman animals’ interests equally to our own. (even if interests are different).
Modern Animal Rights Views on VeganismPeter Singer: Animal agriculture is speciesist. It sacrifices the major interests of nonhumans (life) for the minor interests of humans (taste). We should make it a “simple general principle to avoid killing animals for food except when it is necessary for survival.”
Contemporary Animal Rights Viewpoints – 1970s on… TOM REGAN: equal rights for conscious “subjects of a life” Duty-based philosopher: always do what is right. Don’t use anyone as a means to an end. Most animals are conscious individuals who value their lives (“subjects of a life”). We should extend our concept of human rights to other subjects-of-a-life for moral consistency in respecting life. Subjects have inherent value, so it is wrong to value them solely as a resource/object. This means we should discontinue exploitation.
Modern Animal Rights Views on Veganism Tom Regan: It is killing that should be avoided, not just causing pain. Even idyllic farms take life. The “total abolition of commercial animal agriculture” is a goal of the animal rights movement.
Contemporary Animal Rights Viewpoints- 1970s on… FEMALE PERSPECTIVES: Feminist Ethic of Care: finds traditional ethics too abstract, individualistic, and rationalistic. Prefers to emphasize kinship, community, & personal relationships. Act not out of duty but out of empathy, love, compassion, & caring. Ecofeminist: Patriarchy is the problem, as men dominated/used women because women were deemed closer to other animals and nature (other dominated entities). Male/Female Man/Animal Mind/Body Reason/Emotion
Modern Ecofeminist Views on Veganism Carol Adams (ecofeminist): “Women and animals are similarly positioned in a patriarchal world, as pleasurable objects rather than subjects” Women and farmed animals both endure a “cycle of objectification, fragmentation, and consumption.”
Modern Ecofeminist Views on Veganism Carol Adams (ecofeminist): Meat is associated historically with masculinity and male power (in the last 20,000 years only…largely herbivorous before). Plant-based societies have tend to be more egalitarian than patriarchal. Animal agriculture uses female animals to profit off their reproductive systems. Meat, and especially eggs and dairy, insemination are sexist foods.
Contemporary Animal Rights Viewpoints- 1970s on…Legal Activist Perspectives: Gary Francione: Animal rights is about justice and abolition of exploitation. It demands the “incremental eradication of the property status of animals” to raise them to the level of “personhood.” (and see Steven Wise’s NonhumanRightsProject.org) Lee Hall: Animal rights is a duty-based ethic granting nonhumans the right to privacy and freedom from human intrusion and control. It’s independence, not benevolent stewardship.
Contemporary Animal Rights Viewpoints- 1970s on…Animal Welfare has the following characteristics (distinct from animal rights), per Gary Francione:1. Recognizes animal sentience but believes nonhumans are not as worthy of moral respect as humans,2. Recognizes the property status of nonhumans while wanting to limit the rights of property owners (regulating levels of animal exploitation), and3. Accepts trading away the interests of nonhumans in favor of human interests only if the latter are deemed significant and necessary. Hall & Francione warn against conflating welfare and rights. Rights theory should inform rights activism for logical consistency, and can include incremental abolition.
Debates in Farmed Animal Activism – Welfare v. RightsQ: Should we promote industry welfare reforms and (implicitly) some less cruel products? A: YES Some arguments in Satya mag by Peter Singer, Miyun Park (HSUS), & Bruce Friedrich (PETA). Humane reforms could help create higher veganism rates. (ex: England) Reform drives prices up & consumption down. Helps mitigate suffering of billions of animals. Morale-boosting. It gives organizations lots of small victories needed for fundraising & media. Media coverage causes disgust & raises public consciousness not to view animals as objects. Public already agrees with anti-cruelty message. Cage-free campaigns are in sync with animal rights philosophy (?)
Debates in Farmed Animal Activism – Welfare v. RightsQ: Should we promote industry welfare reforms and (implicitly) some less cruel products? A: NO Some arguments in Satya mag by Eddie Lama, Bob Torres, Lee Hall, Joan Dunayer, Howard Lyman, & James LaVeck. Goal is to promote veganism (end of animal exploitation) not to promote industry’s less cruelly-farmed foods or to regulate acceptable levels of cruelty. Reform acquiesces, allowing meat/farming to be seen as a necessary evil. Animal rights is life-affirming, while reform still promotes killing and exploitation with less guilt. Don’t hide abolitionist or animal rights “agenda”
Debates in Farmed Animal Activism – Welfare v. RightsQ: Should we promote industry welfare reforms and (implicitly) some less cruel products?A: NO (cont.) Some arguments in Satya mag by Eddie Lama, Bob Torres, Lee Hall, Joan Dunayer, Howard Lyman, & James LaVeck. Control the discourse so the problem is defined as exploitation, not as poor farming practices. Don’t send mixed messages that introduce moral ambiguity and weaken rights position. Let welfare groups do “humane farming” campaigns. Vegan frame connects us with larger animal rights goals and with environmentalism (welfare frame does not).
Let’s Speak with Integrity on Behalf of Fellow AnimalsLet your ethical Transform societyvalues guide your by redefiningactions and your reasonable to include respectingspeech. fellow animals’ rightsDon’t restrict it to fit to life, liberty, & thewhat the speciesist pursuit of happiness.establishmentdeems “reasonable.” If we are not going to give the hard message for what the animals need, who is? Australian activist Patty Mark
References on Animal Ethics & Vegetarian Ethics* Adams, C. J. (1990). The sexual politics of meat : a feminist-vegetarian critical theory. New York: Continuum. Bauston, G. (2006, September). It’s not a black and white issue. Satya, 18–21. Beers, D. L. (2006). For the prevention of cruelty : the history and legacy of animal rights activism in the United States. Athens, Ohio: Swallow Press/Ohio University Press. Davis, G. (1999). Vegetarian food for thought : quotations & inspirations . Troutdale, OR: New Sage Press. Donovan, J., & Adams, C. J. (2007). The feminist care tradition in animal ethics : a reader. New York: Columbia University Press. Dunayer, J. (2001). Animal equality: language and liberation. Derwood, Md.: Ryce Dunayer, J. (2006, October). Serving abuse. Satya, 52–53. Finsen, L., & Finsen, S. (1994). The animal rights movement in America: from compassion to respect. New York: Twayne. Foer, J. S. (2009). Eating animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company. Francione, G. L. (1996). Rain without thunder: The ideology of the animal rights movement. Philadelphia, Pa.: Temple University Press. Freeman, C. P. (2008). Struggling for ideological integrity in the social movement framing process : how U.S. animal rights organizations frame values and ethical ideology in food advocacy communication. Dissertation. University of Oregon. * This presentation’s info is largely pulled from the literature review of Carrie Packwood Freeman’s dissertation to be published as a book Growing Vegetarians in 2013 or 2014.
References on Animal Ethics & Vegetarian Ethics (cont.) Gandhi. (1957). An autobiography : the story of my experiments with truth . Boston: Beacon Press. Hall, L. (2006a). Capers in the Churchyard: Animal Rights Advocacy in the Age of Terror. Darien, CT: Nectar Bat Press. Hall, L. (2006b, October). Animal rights and wrongs. Satya, 24–27. Joy, M. (2010). Why we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows: an introduction to carnism. San Francisco: Conari Press. Lama, E. (2006, September). Sadly, happy meat. Satya, 14–16. LaVeck, J. (2006a, September). Compassion for Sale? Satya, 8–11. LaVeck, J. (2006b, October). Invasion of the movement snatchers. Satya, 18–23. Linzey, A., & Clarke, P. (2004). Animal rights: A historical anthology. New York: Columbia University Press. Lyman, H. (2006, September). Straight talk from a former cattleman. Satya, 28–31. Mark, P. (2006, September). The importance of being honest. Satya, 22–25. Mason, J. (1997). An unnatural order: Why we are destroying the planet and each other. New York: Continuum. Matheny, G. (2003). Least harm: A defense of vegetarianism from Steven Davis’s omnivorous proposal. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 16(5), 505– 511. Maurer, D. (2002). Vegetarianism: Movement or moment? Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
References on Animal Ethics & Vegetarian Ethics (cont.) Park, M. (2006, October). Calculating compassion. Satya, 14–16. Regan, T. (1983). The case for animal rights. Berkeley: University of California Press. Regan, T. (2002). How to worry about endangered species. In D. Schmidtz & E. Willott (Eds.), Environmental ethics: What really matters, what really works (pp. 105– 108). New York: Oxford University Press. Regan, T. (2003). Animal rights, human wrongs: An introduction to moral philosophy. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Rifkin, J. (1992). Beyond beef: The rise and fall of the cattle culture. New York: Dutton. Salt, H. S. (1980). Animals’ rights : considered in relation to social progress (2nd edition (first published 1892).). Clarks Summit, Pa.: Society for Animal Rights. Singer, P. (1990). Animal liberation (2nd ed.). New York: Random House. Singer, P. (2006, October). Singer says. Satya, 8–12. Singer, P., & Friedrich, B. (2006, September). The longest journey begins with a single step: Promoting animal rights by promoting reform. Satya, 12–13. Singer, P., & Mason, J. (2006). The ethics of what we eat: Why our food choices matter. New York: Rodale. Torres, B. (2006, September). The odd logic of welfarism. Satya, 40–41. Walters, K. S., & Portmess, L. (1999). Ethical vegetarianism: From Pythagoras to Peter Singer. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Wynne-Tyson, J. (1990). The extended circle: An anthology of humane thought. London: Sphere Books.