Sahnhar lec 5


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Sahnhar lec 5

  1. 1. Neil McPherson<br />Society & Human/Nonhuman <br />Animal Relations (SOCY10015) <br />Lecture 5: Speciesism and oppression: considering <br /> animal welfare and animal rights<br /> <br />“If loyalty to our own species, preference for man simply because we are men, is not sentiment then what is it? It may be good sentiment or a bad one, but sentiment it certainly is” (C.S. Lewis)<br />“There’s no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They’re all animals.” (Ingrid Newkirk)<br />Dr NEIL McPHERSON<br />Email:<br />Twt:@neilgmcpherson<br />SMS:07708 931 325<br />
  2. 2. Neil McPherson<br />Speciesism – Ryder<br />“The only arguments in favour of painful experiments on animals are: 1) that the advancement of knowledge justifies all evils – well does it? 2) that possible benefits for our own species justify mistreatment of other species – this may be a fairly strong argument when it applies to experiments where the chances of suffering are minimal and the probability of aiding applied medicine is great, but even so it is still just ‘speciesism’, and as such it is a selfish emotional argument rather than a reasoned one.”<br />(Ryder 1970 – click here)<br />
  3. 3. Neil McPherson<br />Speciesism – Ryder<br />"the absurdity and exaggeration of the traditional excuses for speciesism – that nonhuman animals feel no pain, that God created them for human use, that they have no souls or that the benefits of their exploitation are overwhelmingly necessary – suggest very strongly that humankind often, perhaps always, feels guilt over its speciesism”<br />(Ryder 1989: 335)<br />
  4. 4. Neil McPherson<br />Speciesism – Singer<br />“a prejudice or attitude of bias in favor of the interests of members of one's own species and against those of members of other species”<br />( Singer 1975: 1)<br />Equality in humans cannot be based on intelligence, reason, speech or moral capacity <br />Capacities and abilities are not equally distributed<br />
  5. 5. Neil McPherson<br />Speciesism – Singer<br />Equality is a moral idea – a prescription for equal treatment<br />“The principle of the equality of human beings is not a description of an alleged actual equality among humans: it is a prescription of how we should treat human beings”<br />(Singer 2008: 340)<br />
  6. 6. Neil McPherson<br />Speciesism – Singer<br />Sexism, racism, speciesism<br />“Racists violates the principle of equality by giving greater weight to the interests of members of his own race…Sexists violate the principle of equality by favouring the interests of those of their own sex. Similarly, speciesists allow the interests of his own species to override the greater interests of members of other species.The pattern is the same in each case.”<br />(Singer 2008: 344)<br />
  7. 7. Neil McPherson<br />Speciesism – Singer<br />“Most human beings are speciesists…[Ordinary] human beings – not a few exceptionally cruel or heartless humans, but the overwhelming majority of humans”<br />(Singer 2008: 344)<br />
  8. 8. Neil McPherson<br />Pain – Singer<br />Utilitarianism – Bentham – direct moral status of nonhumans<br />Sentience – the capacity to suffer & enjoy = direct moral interests<br />Pain cannot be measured but it can be assumed<br />Nonhuman animals have an interest in avoiding pain<br />Concern for wellbeing – children and pigs<br />
  9. 9. Neil McPherson<br />Pain – Singer<br />“There are no good reasons, scientific of philosophical for denying that animals feel pain. If we do not doubt that other humans feel pain we should not doubt that other animals do so too.”<br />(Singer 2008: 349)<br />“It is probably true that comparisons of suffering between members of different species cannot be made precisely, but precision is not essential.”<br />(Singer 2008: 350)<br />
  10. 10. Neil McPherson<br />Life – Singer<br />“Human vegetable” vs sentient nonhuman – value of and right to life <br />Speciesism and euthanasia<br />Not all lives are of equal worth<br />‘Normal human’ v ‘intellectually disabled human’ – considering life & pain<br />
  11. 11. Neil McPherson<br />Life – Singer<br />“to take the life of a being who has been hoping, planning, and working for some future goal is to deprive that being of the fulfilment of all those efforts; to take the life of a being with a mental capacity below the level needed to grasp that one is a being with a future…cannot involve this particular kind of loss.”<br />(Singer 2008: 354)<br />Preference not built on speciesism<br />
  12. 12. Neil McPherson<br />Life – Singer<br />“As long as we remember that we should give the same respect to the lives of animals as we give to the lives of those humans at a similar mental level, we shall not go far wrong….”<br />(Singer 2008: 354)<br />
  13. 13. Neil McPherson<br />Singer – liberationist?<br />Animal Liberation<br />‘rights’ theorist – a misnomer<br />Welfarist rather than liberationist – progression of position of NHAs<br />‘Speciesism’ focus of attack – but hard to argue against philosophically<br />Singer navigates the ‘problem’ of equal moral regard. <br />
  14. 14. Neil McPherson<br />Singer – liberationist?<br />Commenting on experiments by neurosurgeon Dr TipuAziz: <br />“I do not think you should reproach yourself for doing it, provided ... that there was no other way of discovering this knowledge. I could see this as justifiable research” <br />(Singer 2006 – click here)<br />“Can someone please explain how Singer got to be the ‘father of the modern animal rights movement’?” <br />(Francione 2006 – click here)<br />
  15. 15. Neil McPherson<br />Animal Welfare<br />Built on utilitarian principles of reducing suffering<br />Humane treatment of nonhuman animals <br />Enhanced wellbeing of NHAs in all spheres<br />Acceptable to use NHAs if adverse conditions & effects are avoided<br />Legislation<br />
  16. 16. Neil McPherson<br />Animal Welfare<br />Little contradiction id relation to use of NHAs<br />Welfarists are criticised for engaging with industries that use NHAs<br />The 3Rs – replacement, refinement, reduction – click here <br />
  17. 17. Neil McPherson<br />Welfare groups<br />Royal Society for the Protection of Animals<br />Scottish Society for the Protection of Animals<br />Greyhound Protection League<br />World Animal Net<br />World Society for the Protection of Animals<br />
  18. 18. Neil McPherson<br />Animal Welfare<br />“let us label this position "utilitarianism for animals, Kantianism for people." It says: (i) maximize the total happiness of all living beings; (2) place stringent side constraints on what one may do to human beings. Human beings may not be used or sacrificed for the benefit of others; animals may be used or sacrificed for the benefit of other people or animals only if those benefits are greater than the loss inflicted.”<br />(Nozick 1974)<br />
  19. 19. Neil McPherson<br />Animal rights – Regan <br />Based on Kantian deontological ethical position<br />The animal rights movement is committed to:<br /><ul><li>the total abolition of the use of animals in science;
  20. 20. the total dissolution of commercial animal agriculture;
  21. 21. the total elimination of commercial and sport hunting and trapping.</li></ul>(Regan 2008: 355)<br />
  22. 22. Neil McPherson<br />Animal rights – Regan <br />Does not accept welfaristapproach<br />“[From the position of welfarism] the ending the lives of animals is not contrary to supporting animal welfare. If animals used in research have fared well, all things considered, up to the point when they are utilised, and if they are killed as humanely as possible, then we do nothing wrong when we kill them”<br />(Regan 2008: 355)<br />
  23. 23. Neil McPherson<br />Animal rights – Regan <br />Moral status – not based on sentience<br /> “perception, memory, desire, belief, self-consciousness, intention, a sense of the future” <br />(Regan 1983: 81) <br />but inherent value<br />“subjects-of-a-life…[the] experiencing center of their lives” <br />(Regan 2003: 93. Original emphasis). <br />
  24. 24. Neil McPherson<br />Animal rights – Regan <br />Shifts line of separation identified by Kant – direct moral status for NHAs<br />Subjects-of-a-life = ‘mentally normal mammals of a year or more’<br />Capacity for beliefs & desires; perception memory; intentional action; self-awareness, understanding of future (including own)<br />Empirical basis – could be extended (Rowlands 1998)<br />
  25. 25. Neil McPherson<br />Animal rights – Regan <br />The lifeboat scenario<br />“A million dogs ought to be cast overboard if that is necessary to save the four normal humans, the aggregate of the lesser harms of the individual animals harming no-one in a way that is prima facie comparable to the harm death would deny any of these humans”<br />(Regan 1983: 351)<br />Exceptional circumstances<br />Moral hierarchy<br />
  26. 26. Neil McPherson<br />Rights groups<br />Animal Liberation Front<br />International society for Animal Rights<br />People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals<br />SPEAK<br />Uncaged<br />
  27. 27. Neil McPherson<br />New Welfarism &New Speciesism and Post-Humanism<br />Singer and Regan have defined the welfare/rights debate <br />However, both have been criticised by others who regard there ethical approaches as severely limited<br />
  28. 28. Neil McPherson<br />New Welfarism& New Speciesism <br />Francione<br />Regan is indistinguishable from welfarists as a result of the preference he show humans in his construction of inherent value <br />Regards Regan as promoting an abolitionist stance he cannot support – accuses him of ‘selling out’<br />Focusing on denying the NHA as property, Francione argues - abolition means total abolition; moral regard is based on animal sentience nothing else; moral veganism is the baseline of all animal rights; activism must be non-violent, and focused on vegan education<br />
  29. 29. Neil McPherson<br />New Welfarism & New Speciesism <br />Dunayer<br />A moral divide & hierarchy is maintained by welfare & rights theorists<br />Abolition must include ALL NHAs<br />“Unlike old-speciesists, new-speciesists endorse basic rights for some nonhuman animals, those ostensibly most similar to humans…All animals not only have a moral right to life and freedom from abuse; they have an equal right?”<br />(Dunayer 2004: 98)<br />
  30. 30. Neil McPherson<br />Post-humanism<br />Best<br />Has criticised Francione’s vegan abolitionist stance<br />“[A] tepid and apoltitcal rendering…an elitist, white, Eurocentric consumerist lifestyle easily co-opted by capitalism and dominant ideologies…[that] reinforces the dismal elitist, classist, and racist stigmas attached to activists for nonhuman animals since the beginning of ‘animal protectionism’ in the early nineteenth century, and…further isolate[ing] veganism and animal rights from progressive movements and the social mainstream.”<br />(Best 2009: Online)<br />
  31. 31. Neil McPherson<br />Post-humanism<br />Best<br />“our… modest goal is simply to open a space for new forms of thought and struggle that revolve around the ideal of total liberation and a new ethics and politics that transcend humanism 'however broadly defined 'and encompasses all sentient beings and the natural world. We must first and foremost forge channels of communication to link vegan and nonhuman animal liberation communities with human animal liberation and environmental communities, representing a politics for the 21st century.”<br />(Best 2009: Online)<br />
  32. 32. Neil McPherson<br />Post-humanism<br />“As Dunayer (2004) attests to, nonhuman animal rights theorists spend too much time attempting to justify their brand of rights to other theorists when they could actively be attempting to free the nonhuman animal from the confines of the laboratories of experimental medicine. From this position, it can be argued that if progress is to be made in liberating the nonhuman animal…the point of attack must be the epistemic formation of the Modern age”<br />(McPherson 2010: 280)<br />