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  • Home - Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach
    system right So why isn t Read more The Animals Need YOU April 15 2016 in Blog by Gary L Francione Shifting the paradigm from animals as property to animals as nonhuman persons with inherent value requires a grassroots movement of people who are educated educators people who understand the arguments in favor of veganism and can discuss them calmly and in plain language with the other people that they interact with in their day to day lives We Read more A Report from the Intersectional Justice Conference April 11 2016 in Blog by Gary L Francione I have written about those who identify themselves as intersectionalists but who embrace a very speciesist position I have also written about a recent conference on intersectional justice The following essay is from Dr Mark Causey Lecturer in Philosophy and Liberal Studies at Georgia College and State University Dr Causey attended the intersectional justice conference Read more Necessarily Promote Animal Exploitation Why Welfare Reform Campaigns and Single Issue Campaigns Necessarily Promote Animal Exploitation March 19 2016 in Blog by Gary L Francione The purpose of welfare reform campaigns and single issue campaigns SICs is to build coalitions that include those who believe that animal exploitation per se is morally acceptable and who just object to the target of the particular welfare reform campaign or SIC Such campaigns must play to the lowest level of the spectrum or they Read more When Intersectional Justice Means Promoting Meat Fish Dairy March 7 2016 in Blog by Gary L Francione The latest organized rejection of veganism as a moral baseline is found in the position of certain people who call themselves intersectionalists In an earlier essay I discussed how these intersectionalists were promoting a brand of moral relativism at least as far as animals were concerned

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  • About - Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach
    not to be treated as the property of others Our recognition of the one basic right means that we must abolish and not merely regulate institutionalized animal exploitation because it assumes that animals are the property of humans We recognize that we will not abolish overnight the property status of nonhumans but we will support only those campaigns and positions that explicitly promote the abolitionist agenda We will not support positions that call for supposedly improved regulation of animal exploitation The abolitionist approach sees abolition as the goal of animal ethics and sees creative nonviolent vegan advocacy and not welfare reform as the means to that end The abolitionist approach regards veganism as the moral baseline and maintains that we cannot draw a morally coherent distinction between flesh and other animal products such as dairy or eggs or between animal foods and the use of animals for clothing or other products Read More Gary L Francione Gary L Francione is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB Katzenbach Scholar of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University School of Law Newark He received his B A in philosophy from the University of Rochester where he was awarded the Phi Beta Kappa O Hearn Scholarship that allowed him to pursue graduate study in philosophy in Great Britain He received his M A in philosophy and his J D from the University of Virginia He was Articles Editor of the Virginia Law Review Read More Our Team Gary L Francione Anna Charlton Administrative Technical Assistants Marianna C Gonzalez Vincent Guihan and Patricia Soldan Mission Statement What YOU Can Do to Help Achieve Abolition The Six Principles of the Abolitionist Approach to Animal Rights Gary L Francione Français Visitez notre site miroir français Recent Posts Guest Essay This is Why New

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  • Books - Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach
    theorist specializing in the philosophy and politics of animal protection Francione maintains that we have no moral justification for using nonhumans and argues that because animals are property or economic commodities laws or industry practices requiring humane treatment will as a general matter fail to provide any meaningful level of protection Garner favors a version of animal rights that focuses on eliminating animal suffering and adopts a protectionist approach maintaining that although the traditional animal welfare ethic is philosophically flawed it can contribute strategically to the achievement of animal rights ends Read More Animals as Persons Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation Gary L Francione Columbia University Press 2008 Purchase Amazon com Columbia University Press A prominent and respected philosopher of animal rights law and ethical theory Gary L Francione is known for his criticism of animal welfare laws and regulations his abolitionist theory of animal rights and his promotion of veganism and nonviolence as the baseline principles of the abolitionist movement In this collection Francione advances the most radical theory of animal rights argued to date Unlike Peter Singer Francione maintains that we cannot morally justify using animals under any circumstances and unlike Tom Regan Francione s theory applies to all sentient beings and not only to those who have more sophisticated cognitive abilities Read More Introduction to Animal Rights Your Child or the Dog Gary L Francione Temple University Press 2000 Purchase Amazon com Temple University Press Two thirds of Americans polled by the Associated Press agree with the following statement An animal s right to live free of suffering should be just as important as a person s right to live free of suffering More than 50 percent of Americans believe that it is wrong to kill animals to make fur coats or to hunt them for sport But these same Americans eat hamburgers take their children to circuses and rodeos and use products developed with animal testing How do we justify our inconsistency Read More Rain Without Thunder The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement Gary L Francione Temple University Press 1996 Purchase Amazon com Temple University Press Are animal welfare supporters indistinguishable from the animal exploiters they oppose Do reformist measures reaffirm the underlying principles that make animal exploitation possible in the first place In this provocative book Gary L Francione argues that the modern animal rights movement has become indistinguishable from a century old concern with the welfare of animals that in no way prevents them from being exploited Read More Animals Property and the Law Gary L Francione Temple University Press 1995 Purchase Amazon com Temple University Press Pain is pain irrespective of the race sex or species of the victim states William Kunstler in his foreword This moral concern for the suffering of animals and their legal status is the basis for Gary L Francione s profound book which asks Why has the law failed to protect animals from exploitation Read More Vivisection and Dissection in the Classroom A Guide to

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  • Audio - Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach
    16 2009 NZ Vegan Podcast Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 64 Minutes English Adam Kochanowicz Interviews Professor Francione on Animal Rights vs Welfare July 15 2009 Vegan FM Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 Part 1 47 Minutes English MP3 Part 2 41 Minutes English MP3 Part 3 56 Minutes English MP3 Part 4 24 Minutes English Professor Francione Delivers Keynote Address at the 2009 JAINA Convention July 3 2009 Jain Center of Southern California Note JAINA is the Federation of Jain Associations in North America The theme at the 2009 Convention was Ecology The Jain Way Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 40 Minutes English Michael Smerconish Interviews Professor Francione on Donkey Basketball and Swine Flu May 4 2009 The Big Talker Additional Topics The Kentucky Derby pets and his upcoming new book The Animal Rights Debate Abolition Versus Regulation Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 14 Minutes English Elizabeth Collins Interviews Professor Francione on Veganism and Nonviolence March 30 2009 NZ Vegan Podcast Additional Topics The failure of the Animal Welfare Movement Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 Part 1 63 Minutes English MP3 Part 2 56 Minutes English Professor Jan Narveson Debates Professor Francione on the Morality of Animal Use and the Issue of Animal Rights March 27 2009 Radio Netherlands Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 16 Minutes English PDF Transcript English Jonathan Groubert Interviews Professor Francione on The Right to Have Pets February 7 2009 Radio Netherlands Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 3 Minutes English PDF Transcript English Tina Volpe Interviews Professor Francione on his Reasons for Becoming Vegan and the Abolitionist Approach to Animal Rights January 17 2009 Wake Up America Additional Topics Slaughterhouse conditions dealing with people who aren t going to go vegan and much more Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 57 Minutes English Derek Goodwin Interviews Professor Francione on Should We Take Better Care of Our Slaves or Should We Abolish Slavery All Together October 2 2008 Vegan Radio Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 57 Minutes English Lauren Corman Interviews Professor Francione on his New Book Animals As Persons Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation September 9 2008 Animal Voices Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 Part 1 30 Minutes English MP3 Part 2 22 Minutes English PDF Transcript English Andy Clegg Interviews Professor Francione on his View of Animal Rights August 11 2008 WAMC Northeast Public Radio Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 15 Minutes English PDF Transcript English Mike Slater Interviews Professor Francione on the Great Ape Project July 30 2008 The Mike Slater Show Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 Part 1 12 Minutes English MP3 Part 2 5 Minutes English PDF Transcript English Bob Linden Interviews Professor Francione on the State of the Animal Rights Movement and Vegan Education July 26 2008 Go Vegan Radio Other Topics The hypocrisy of the Animal Welfarist Movement and the economic partnership between animal welfare and animal exploitation Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 52 Minutes English Bob and Jenna Torres Interview Professor Francione on his New Book Animals as Persons Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation Part 2 June 26 2008 Vegan Freak Radio Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 56 Minutes English PDF Transcript English Bob and Jenna Torres Interview Professor Francione on his New Book Animals as Persons Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation Part 1 June 20 2008 Vegan Freak Radio Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 58 Minutes English PDF Transcript English Professor Francione Presents Animal Rights vs Animal Welfare Making the Case May 18 2008 The Rochester Area Vegetarian Society Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or

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  • Video - Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach
    French Theorie der Tierrechte German 動物の権利論 Japanese Teoria dos direitos animais Portuguese Teoría sobre los derechos de los animales Spanish Animals as Property Professor Francione argues that the property status of animals renders meaningless animal welfare laws that prohibit the infliction of unnecessary suffering and require the humane treatment of nonhumans Professor Francione s book Animals Property and the Law Temple University Press 1995 provided the first legal analysis of the property status of animals and was described by Tom Regan as a work of unquestionable historic importance View Slideshow English Download PDF English Životinje kao stvarin Croatian Dieren als Eigendommen Dutch Les animaux comme propriétés French Tiere als Eigentum German 所有物としての動物 Japanese Animais como propriedade Portuguese Animales como propiedad Spanish Animal Rights vs Animal Welfare Professor Francione argues that there are profound theoretical and practical differences between animal rights and animal welfare He is critical of what he calls new welfarism or the position that incremental improvements in animal welfare will lead to the abolition of animal exploitation These views are contained in Rain Without Thunder The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement Temple University Press 1996 View Slideshow English Download PDF English Dierenrechten vs Dierenwelzijn Dutch Droits des animaux vs bien être animal French Tierrechte vs Tierschutz German Direitos animais vs bem estar animal Portuguese Derechos de los animales vs bienestar animal Spanish Animal Law Professor Francione maintains that animal law ought to be concerned about the incremental abolition of the property status of nonhumans and that the tendency of animal lawyers to focus on anticruelty cases veterinary malpractice pet custody and pet trust cases is mistaken View Slideshow English Download PDF English Le droit animal French Das Tier im Recht German Direito Animal Portuguese Derecho animal Spanish Exploring Rights for Animals A Series of Interviews by Gooseberry Productions Click here for Exploring Rights for Animals A Series of Interviews by Gooseberry Productions Professor Francione Debates Professor Tibor Machan Do Animals Have Rights January 12 2012 Professor Francione Debates Professor Tibor Machan Do Animals Have Rights from Gary L Francione on Vimeo The Use of Animals in Biomedical Research A Moral Justification March 8 2011 The Use of Animals in Biomedical Research A Moral Justification from Gary L Francione on Vimeo Professor Francione on Documentary Project I m Vegan View Vimeo Video 19 Minutes English Adam Kochanowicz Interviews Professor Francione on Moral Schizophrenia and Animal Rights Ideology October 22 2009 Rutgers University School of Law Newark The primary focus of the interview concerns a comprehensive analysis of the animal movement and the importance of veganism Additional topics include economic philosophy our relations with nonhuman animals and the failures of welfarism Download Video 61 Minutes English Professor Francione Delivers Keynote Address at the 2009 JAINA Convention July 3 2009 Jain Center of Southern California JAINA is the Federation of Jain Associations in North America The theme at the 2009 Convention was Ecology The Jain Way Download Video 41 Minutes English Professor Francione Presents Animal Rights and Animal Welfare April

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  • Text - Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach
    or Your Lifestyle Choices English A3 Format US Tabloid 11 x17 Format Animals Are the Most Vulnerable Members of Our Society English A3 Format US Tabloid 11 x17 Format It Doesn t Matter If They Had the Best Lives in the World English A3 Format US Tabloid 11 x17 Format Saving a Life Is as Easy as Adopting a Homeless Animal English A3 Format US Tabloid 11 x17 Format The Four Problems of Animal Welfare English PDF Why Veganism by Eva Batt 1908 1989 Written for Here s Harmlessness An Anthology of Ahimsa first published in 1964 by the American Vegan Society This essay offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the vegan movement Eva Batt residing in England became a vegan in 1954 just ten years after the term was coined In the decades that followed Batt made major contributions to the spread of veganism including two cookbooks and played several roles within the UK Vegan Society including fifteen years as chairperson Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser MP3 21 Minutes English HTTP English PDF English Professor Francione s Article Are we the animal lovers we think we are August 4 2013 N J News HTTP English PDF English Professor Francione s Article Thinking About Mitt Romney and Seamus Michael Vick and Dog Fighting and Eating Animals April 18 2012 Truthout HTTP English PDF English Deb Olin Unferth Interviews Professor Francione on his Controversial Positions on Animal Ethics February 2011 The Believer Magazine PDF English Professor Francione s Article Vegetarianism First Spring 2010 The Vegan Magazine PDF English Professor Francione on his New Book Animals as Persons Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation February 1 2010 ROROTOKO HTTP English Philip Steir Interviews Professor Francione on the Recent Growth of the Abolitionist Movement January 7 2010 Vegan Sanctuary PDF English Professor Francione s Updated Article We re all Michael Vick August 14 2009 Philadelphia Daily News PDF English Professor Francione s Article Ahimsa and Veganism Winter 2009 Jain Digest PDF English Mark Robison Interviews Professor Francione on Animals as Persons August 13 2008 Reno Gazette Journal PDF English Professor Francione s Article We re all Michael Vick August 22 2007 Philadelphia Daily News PDF English Rosamund Raha Interviews Professor Francione on his Theory of Animal Rights Spring 2007 The Vegan Magazine PDF English Professor Francione s Article Humanité animalité quelles frontières Febuary 2007 Le Monde Diplomatique PDF French Professor Francione s Article Pour l abolition de l animal esclave August 2006 Le Monde Diplomatique PDF French Professor Francione s Article Abolition of Animal Exploitation The Journey Will Not Begin While We Are Walking Backwards July 2006 Abolitionist Online no longer active PDF English Claudette Vaughan Interviews Professor Francione on the Abolitionist Theory March 2006 Abolitionist Online no longer active PDF Part 1 English PDF Part 2 English Rebecca Palmer Interviews Professor Francione on

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  • Quotes - Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach
    is morally preferable to vegetarianism is not possible because we are all on our own journey then moral assessment becomes completely impossible or is speciesist It is impossible because if we are all on our own journey then there is nothing to say to the racist sexist anti semite homophobe etc If we say that those forms of discrimination are morally bad but with respect to animals we are all on our own journey and we cannot make moral assessments about for instance dairy consumption then we are simply being speciesist and not applying the same moral analysis to nonhumans that we apply to the human context 2012 Is veganism a matter of choice That depends on whether you think we have the moral right to choose to exploit the vulnerable for frivolous purposes such as palate pleasure December 22 2012 There is a tendency to see inherent or intrinsic value as some mysterious concept It s not It just reflects the reality that some things nonsentient things like rocks cars and cell phones have value only to the extent we value them Some others humans and sentient nonhumans value themselves even if no one else values them Inherent value is the name we given to the moral recognition of that valuation December 16 2012 Vegan food easy cheap fast healthy delicious Don t let anyone tell you anything to the contrary December 6 2012 Got nonviolence Go vegan December 3 2012 If you care about animals there is one and only one choice go vegan Can you choose not to be vegan Sure You can choose not to care December 1 2012 Express your thanks for all you have by resolving not to harm others If you are not vegan celebrate today by going vegan and then let every

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  • FAQs - Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach
    Hitler was a vegetarian Hitler was evil therefore vegetarians are evil Stalin ate meat and was himself no angel He was responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent people What does that say about meat eaters Just as we cannot conclude that all meat eaters have anything in common with Stalin beyond meat eating we cannot conclude that all vegetarians have anything in common with Hitler beyond vegetarianism Furthermore it is not certain that Hitler actually was a vegetarian And in any event the Nazi interest in reducing meat consumption was not a matter of the moral status of animals but reflected a concern with organic health and healing and avoidance of artificial ingredients in food and pharmaceutical products that was linked to the broader Nazi goals of racial hygiene Another version of this question is that since the Nazis also favored animal rights does this mean that animal rights as a moral theory is bankrupt and attempts to devalue humans Once again the question is absurd In the first place the question is based on a factual error The Nazis were not in favor of animal rights Animal welfare laws in Germany restricted vivisection to some degree but they hardly reflected any societal preference for abolishing the property status of animals After all the Nazis casually murdered millions of humans and animals in the course of the Second World War behavior not compatible with a rights position human or otherwise It is no more accurate to say that the Nazis supported animal rights than it is to say that Americans support animal rights because we have a federal Animal Welfare Act But what if contrary to fact the Nazis did advocate the abolition of all animal exploitation What would that say about the idea of animal rights The answer is absolutely clear it would say nothing about whether the animal rights position is right or wrong That question can be settled only by whether the moral arguments in favor of animal rights are valid or not The Nazis also strongly favored marriage Does that mean marriage is an inherently immoral institution The Nazis also believed that sports were essential to the development of strong character Does this mean that competitive sports are inherently immoral Jesus Christ preached a gospel of sharing resources on an equitable basis Gandhi promoted a similar message as did Stalin But Stalin also devalued human beings Can we conclude that the idea of more equitable resource distribution has some inherent moral flaw that taints Jesus or Gandhi No of course not We no more devalue human life if we accord moral significance to animal interests than we devalue the lives of normal humans when we accord value to certain humans such as the severely retarded and prohibit their use in experiments Question 9 Where do you draw the line on who can have rights Do insects have rights Answer I draw the line at sentience because as I have argued sentient beings have interests and the possession of interests is the necessary and sufficient condition for membership in the moral community Are insects sentient Are they conscious beings with minds that experience pain and pleasure I do not know But the fact that I do not know exactly where to draw the line or perhaps find drawing the line difficult does not relieve me of the obligation to draw the line somewhere or allow me to use animals as I please Although I may not know whether insects are sentient I do know that cows pigs chickens chimpanzees horses deer dogs cats and mice are sentient Indeed it is now widely accepted that fish are sentient So the fact that I do not know on what side of the line to place insects does not relieve me of my moral obligation to the animals whom I do know are sentient As a general matter this question is intended to demonstrate that if we do not know where to draw the line in a matter of morality or if line drawing is difficult then we ought not to draw the line anywhere This form of reasoning is invalid Consider the following example There is a great deal of disagreement about the scope and extent of human rights Some people argue that health care and education are fundamental rights that a civilized government should provide to everyone some people argue that health care and education are commodities like any other not the subject of rights and that people ought to pay for them But we would I suspect all agree that whatever our disagreements about human rights however unsure we are of where to draw the line we most certainly agree for instance that genocide is morally wrong We do not say that it is morally acceptable to kill off entire populations because we may disagree over whether humans are entitled to health care Similarly our uncertainty or disagreement regarding the sentience of ants is no license to ignore the interests of chimpanzees cows pigs chickens and other animals whom we do know are sentient Question 10 Do nonsentient humans such as those who are irreversibly brain dead have a right not to be treated as things Answer If a human is really nonsentient not conscious or aware of anything at all and will not regain consciousness or awareness of anything then by definition the human cannot have an interest in not suffering or in anything else In such a situation a compelling argument could be made that it is morally acceptable to use the organs of such a human to save others and it is common practice to do so if the human has previously agreed to donate her organs or if the family consents We should of course be concerned about whether an ostensibly brain dead human really does lack all cognitive activity We ought also to be sensitive to the concerns of those related to the comatose human they may oppose the instrumental use of the human for various reasons such as religious opposition to organ transplantation But humans who are really irreversibly brain dead are really no different from plants they are alive but they are not conscious and have no interests to protect According such humans a basic right not to be treated as the resources of others makes no sense Question 11 If we want to treat similar interests similarly does our recognition that animals have a basic right not to be property mean that abortion should also be prohibited Answer Abortion raises a number of difficult issues particularly because of the religious dimension of the controversy Many who oppose abortion believe that ensoulment occurs at the moment of conception This belief leads some abortion opponents to oppose any measure that will interfere with the subsequent development of the fetus including the use of intrauterine devices or drugs that prevent the implantation of the fertilized ovum on the uterus wall As far as these abortion opponents are concerned the fact that a fetus or fertilized ovum is not sentient is irrelevant the fetus has spiritual interests and is considered a full and complete moral being in the eyes of God as soon as it possesses a soul Another complicating factor in the abortion debate is that as a cultural matter the status of a pregnant woman as a mother and of a fetus as a baby tends to kick in immediately after the woman learns that she is pregnant particularly in cases in which the woman wants to have a child That is from the moment of conception or learning of conception we tend to think of the fetus as the human person the baby that it will become But that characterization does not alter the biological fact that a fertilized ovum does not have interests in the way that the baby does If we approach the abortion question outside the framework of religion and souls and outside social conventions that characterize a pregnant woman as a mother and a fetus as a baby from the moment of conception it becomes much more difficult to understand how fetuses particularly early term fetuses may be said to have interests Although it is not certain that any fetuses are sentient it is clear that early term fetuses are not and therefore they do not have interests in not suffering they cannot suffer Moreover it is not clear how nonsentient fetuses can have an interest in continued existence Although a normal fetus will continue to term and result in the birth of a human person the nonsentient fetus cannot itself have an interest in continued existence Sentient beings are those who are conscious of pain and pleasure those with some sort of mind and some sense of self The harm of death to a sentient being is that she or he will no longer be able to have conscious experiences If you kill me painlessly while I am asleep you have harmed me because you have deprived me of having further experiences as a sentient being that I by virtue of the fact that I have not chosen to commit suicide wish to have And our experience of sentient beings other than humans reasonably supports the position that all sentient beings share in common an interest in continuing to live sentience is merely a means to the continued existence of organisms who are able to have mental experiences of pleasure and pain We cannot analogize a fetus and a sleeping person the fetus has never been sentient and therefore has never possessed the interests that are characteristic of all sentient beings If we claim that a nonsentient fertilized ovum has an interest in continued existence simply because there is a high degree of probability that in nine months it will become a child with interests then we are committed to the view that a fertilized ovum has an interest in continued existence immediately upon conception And if we can say that a fertilized ovum has an interest in continued existence immediately upon conception it becomes difficult to understand why we would not also say that a sperm and an egg have interests in conception before their union occurs The primary difference between the fertilized ovum and the sperm and egg concerns probability it is more probable that a fertilized ovum will eventually become a human baby than it is that any particular sperm will fertilize an egg and nothing more To the extent that we might say for instance that it is in the interest of the fetus that the pregnant woman not smoke cigarettes during pregnancy such an assertion is no different from saying that it is in the interest of an engine to be properly lubricated or of a plant to be watered Although it may be prudent for the pregnant woman not to smoke if she has an interest in having a healthy baby just as it is prudent for us to put oil in our cars or to water our plants the nonsentient fetus does not yet have an experiential welfare and does not prefer or want or desire anything In the absence of a religious belief about the ensoulment of fetuses it is difficult to understand why the abortion of an early term fetus is morally objectionable or how abortion can be considered a harm to a nonsentient fetus If the abortion of a nonsentient fetus is morally objectionable then so would be the use of intrauterine devices or drugs such as RU 486 that prevent the attachment to the uterine wall of a fertilized ovum And we may be committed to the view that a sperm and an egg have an interest in being united so that the use of contraception violates the interests of the sperm and the egg Again in the absence of a religious framework such views appear quite untenable What if we determine that some fetuses are sentient Certainly late term fetuses react to certain stimuli It may be the case that such fetuses are sentient and have an experiential welfare In this case it would make sense to say that such fetuses have interests But even if we assume that sentient fetuses have a basic right that prevents their wholly instrumental treatment abortion presents a most unusual conflict of rights One right holder exists within the body of another right holder and is dependent upon her for the very existence that serves as the predicate for the fetus having interests in the first place Such a conflict is unique and protection of fetal interests risks state intrusion on the woman s body and privacy interests in a way that no other protection of the basic right of another requires If a parent is abusing her three year old the state may remove the child in order to protect the child s interests The state cannot protect fetal interests without intruding on the bodily autonomy of the woman and forcing her to continue an unwanted pregnancy But it may be the case that the sentience of fetuses militates in favor of abortion methods that are equally safe for the woman but that preserve the life of the fetus Question 12 If we become vegetarians animals will inevitably be harmed when we plant vegetables and what is the difference between raising and killing animals for food and unintentionally killing them as part of a plant based agriculture Answer If we shift from a meat based agriculture to a plant based agriculture we will inevitably displace and possibly kill sentient animals when we plant vegetables Surely however there is a significant difference between raising and killing animals for food and unintentionally doing them harm in the course of planting vegetables an activity that is itself intended to prevent the killing of sentient beings In order to understand this point consider the following example We build roads We allow people to drive automobiles We know as a statistical matter that when we build a road some humans we do not know who they are beforehand will be harmed as the result of automobile accidents Yet there is a fundamental moral difference between activity that has human harm as an inevitable but unintended consequence and the intentional killing of particular humans Similarly the fact that animals may be harmed as an unintended consequence of planting vegetables even if we do not use toxic chemicals and even if we exercise great care to avoid harming animals does not mean that it is morally acceptable to kill animals intentionally A related question is why don t plants have rights given that they are alive This is the question that every vegetarian gets in the company of meat eater These meat eaters may be otherwise rational and intelligent beings but when confronted with a vegetarian their discomfort with their diet often rises to the surface in the form of defensiveness No one really thinks that plants are the same as sentient nonhumans If I ate your tomato and your dog you would not regard those as similar acts As far as we know plants are not sentient They are not conscious and able to experience pain Plants do not have central nervous systems endorphins receptors for benzodiazepines or any of the other indicia of sentience Plants do not have interests animals do Question 13 Isn t taking advantage of medications or procedures developed through the use of animals inconsistent with taking an animal rights position Answer No it is not Those who support animal exploitation often argue that accepting the benefits of animal use is inconsistent with criticizing the use of animals This position of course makes no sense Most of us are opposed to racial discrimination and yet we live in a society in which white middle class people enjoy the benefits of past racial discrimination that is the majority enjoys a standard of living that it would not have had there been a nondiscriminatory equitable distribution of resources including educational and job opportunities Many of us support measures such as affirmative action that are intended to correct past discrimination But those who oppose racial discrimination are not obligated to leave the United States or to commit suicide because we cannot avoid the fact that white people are beneficiaries of past discrimination against people of color Consider another example assume that we find that the local water company employs child labor and we object to child labor Are we obligated to die of dehydration because the water company has chosen to violate the rights of children No of course not We would be obligated to support the abolition of this use of children but we would not be obligated to die Similarly we should join together collectively and demand an end to animal exploitation but we are not obligated to accept animal exploitation or forego any benefits that it may provide We certainly could develop drugs and surgical procedures without the use of animals and many would prefer we do so Those who object to animal use for these purposes however have no control as individuals over government regulations or corporate policies concerning animals To say that they cannot consistently criticize the actions of government or industry while they derive benefits from these actions over which they have no control is absurd as a matter of logic And as a matter of political ideology it is a most disturbing endorsement of unquestioned obeisance to the policies of the corporate state Indeed the notion that we must either embrace animal exploitation or reject anything that involves animal use is eerily like the reactionary slogan love it or leave it uttered by the pseudo patriots who criticized opponents of American involvement in the Vietnam War Moreover humans have so commodified animals that it is virtually impossible to avoid animal exploitation completely Animal by products are used in a wide variety of things including the asphalt on roads and synthetic fabrics But

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