In Peter Singer’s piece “All Animals Are Equal”, he begins his argument by an in-depth consideration of notable rights movements, such as the Black Liberation and women’s rights movement, then segues into the justification for equal consideration of rights regarding animals, before finally exposing the immorality behind factory farming and animal cruelty. According to Singer, “the basic principle of equality…is equality of consideration; and equal consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights” (Singer 1974, 506). Based off proposed animals’ rights to equal consideration, Singer formats his main arguments against factory farming and the mistreatment of animals in general. These arguments stem from
On the topic of animal rights, Vicki Hearne and Peter Singer represent opposite ends of a belief spectrum. Singer describes, in numerous articles, that he believes animal rights should focus on if the animal is suffering, and the best option to prevent it is to limit interaction between animals and humans. Specifically, in “Speciesism and Moral Status” Singer compares the intelligence and ability of non-human animals to those with severe cognitive disabilities to establish an outrageous solution to animal belittlement. He uses logos (the appeal to reason) and ethos (the appeal to ethics), to question the current rights in place to appeal to other scholars. Nevertheless, his approach can cause an emotional disconnect to the readers; this apparent in contrast to Hearne’s pathos (the
Singer starts the article by challenging the reader's idea of the last form of discrimination; too many the last form of discrimination was sex-based but to Singer that is not the case. He believes people false consciously accept sexism as the last form of discrimination because there are no other groups of women that have advocated for rights, but people fail to realize oppression and discrimination go unnoticed until the group being mistreated points out the mistreatment. People look past the mistreatment of animals because animals cannot advocate for their rights. He refers to the discrimination against animals as speciesism; speciesism is the innate superiority of a species (homo sapiens) to another species without a solid foundation other than self-interest. Just like a racist places the self-interest of members of their own race superior to members of another race, a speciesist places the self-interest of members of their own species superior to another species. He continues by saying people are often confused when talking about animal rights; are we supposed to give animals the right to vote? He explains this concern by bringing up a woman’s right to an abortion. Woman have the right to an abortion
A quick comparison to Vicki Hearne’s “What’s Wrong with Animal Rights?” to Peter Singer’s “Speciesism and Moral Status”, might indicate Hearne’s argument is stronger due to her strategic and effective use of emotional appeals (i.e. pathos). These appeals allow Hearne to connect quickly and easily with her audience. Hearne is also quite clever in terms of stressing her occupation as an animal trainer. However, after a swift comparison of the two articles, it is evident that Singer’s “Speciesism and Moral Status” offers readers a stronger and more valid argument. Both Singer and Hearne are arguing their position on animal rights and the extent of human involvement. Since Hearne’s article is primarily based on her attempt to persuade her
The idea that all humans are born equal has been something that has been almost installed in our minds. However, in the eyes of Peter Singer, we as humans are constantly violating our own moral code in the way we treat animals. Singer refers to this as speciesism and compares our treatment of animals to the same way sexists and racists treat those who they deem inferior. He also argues that the grounds on which they base their prejudice on are equally fragile. He illustrates this by comparing speciesists to racists. He recalls, “The racists violates the principle of equality by giving greater weight to the interests of his own race…similarly the speciesist allows the interests of his own species to override the greater interests of members of another species” (53.) He initiates this argument by explaining how our willingness to declare all humans as equal when the opposite is fundamentally true. Singer writes, “Like it or not, we must face the fact that humans come in different shapes and sizes; they come with differing moral capacities, differing intellect…if the demand for equality was based on the actual equality of all human beings, we would have to stop demanding equality” (51). Singer seeks to establish that our push for equality ends once the being in question is no longer human. Once he establishes this, he can quickly draw parallels between our unequal treatment of animals and humans. He evolves what initially begins as a far-fetched claim to a nuanced and
Speciesism is a prejudice for or against a certain species. It is the belief that all and only human beings have moral status. Peter Singer, in “All Animals are Equal”, points out that people are contradicting themselves when they make the argument that non-human animals do not deserve the same rights as humans just because animals do not have the same intellectual abilities as us. Singer points out that humans come with different moral capacities and intellectual abilities, such as humans with irreparable brain damage and infant humans, so if people were to argue that animals don’t deserve the same equality as humans because they are basing it on actual equality, then humans who lack certain abilities and characteristics would also not deserve the same equality.
For example Michael describes “eating animals, wearing animals, experimenting on animals, killing animals for sport: all these practices, so resolutely normal to us, will be seen as the barbarities they are, and we will come to view “speciesism” (Greenbalt,Abrahams,David, Lewalski, Lipking, Logan, and Simpson,pg. 619). Nevertheless, Michael struggles to take side of the protest of considering animals as humans, or living like so many others. He stated” There’s a schizoid quality to our relationship with animals, in which sentiment and brutality exist side by side (Greenbalt,Abrahams,David, Lewalski, Lipking, Logan, and Simpson, pg 620). Also, Singer; the publisher of Animal Liberation argued and advocated for civil, and moral rights for animals. In addition, Michael stated “Thirty-seven states have recently passed laws making some forms of animal cruelty a crime, twenty-on of them by ballot initiative (Greenbalt,Abrahams,David, Lewalski, Lipking, Logan, and Simpson,pg.
Peter Singer has written many works in support of animal rights. In one of his greatest works Animal Liberation, Singer goes into great depths on how similar in biology animals are to human beings. Another strong point was not only the biological resemblance, but also the behavioral tendencies and traits humans and nonhuman species share. There are two major areas of focus that Singer puts emphasis on that need to be recognized for the purposes of my argument. One focus is this utilitarian approach that only the human species carry: the belief of ethical and morally good behavior should be extended to the consideration of nonhuman species. The second focus that is the basis for my argument is Singer’s argument against a huge human social construct labeled speciesism.
Speciesism is an undeniable prejudice focused on by the likes of Peter Singer and Shelly Kagan. The general accepted definition of speciesism is the assumption of superiority to humans which leads to the exploitation of animals. Singer hones in on the idea of speciesism and uses it to describe giving preference to our own species over another, in the absence of morally relevant differences.
In David Schmidtz’s article “Are All Species Equal?” he discusses species egalitarianism and if it has any application or standing in the philosophical discussion of environmental ethics. One of the given arguments equates speciesism to racism. These two terms, down to their basic definitions, are so fundamentally different that it is difficult to compare them. Racism is the discrimination of a race of people based on the culture, physical features and tone of speech among other things. The parameters in which racism occurs and what determines superiority of one group of people over another is challenging to translate over into the realm of speciesism. For how are we to determine which traits are superior? In the Jim Crow era white
Peter Singer’s argues that we should take a utilitarian viewpoint on how people should treat animals. He sees that animals can, in some cases, be smarter than humans and should therefore have some rights in how the animals should be treated. His argument holds this general viewpoint, “..we [should] extend to other species the basic
Where I do not disagree with the basis of Singer’s argument, I do disagree with some of the minor facts used to support this argument. I disagree with the notion that the human race is ready to do anything to another species in order to satisfy our taste, that non-human animals are seen like machines and they are kept in unsuitable conditions. In general, Singer’s argument seems to be based on vague points and generalizes the human population.
Peter Singer’s argument is that all animals are equal and should be treated as such. He begins to build his argument by defining “equality”. Equality entails “equal consideration” for a being’s interests, with the potential for different treatment. Consider the difference in treatment between men and women in regards to abortion rights. Women have the right to get an abortion while men do not. This is not a difference in equality, but simply recognition of the fact that it could be in the interest of women to get one. Men on the other hand, have no desire or ability for this right. Singer
In his article “All Animals Are Equal,” Peter Singer discusses the widely-held belief that, generally speaking, there is no more inequality in the world, because all groups of formerly oppressed humans are now liberated. However, it often goes without notice that there are groups of nonhuman animals that continue to face unequal treatment, such as those that are consumed or used as scientific test subjects. Singer’s article criticizes the belief that because humans are generally more intelligent than nonhuman animals, then all humans are superior to all nonhuman animals. Singer argues that intelligence is an arbitrary trait to base the separation of humans and nonhumans, and declares that the only trait that one can logically base moral value is the capacity to have interests, which is determined by a creature’s ability to suffer. Singer explains that in order to stay consistent with the basic principle of equality, anything that has the capacity to suffer ought to have its needs and interests recognized, just as humans’ needs and interests are currently recognized through what he calls “equal consideration.” In this paper, I will explain Singer’s notion of equal consideration as the only relevant sense of equality and why it applies to the rights of both human and nonhuman species that are
Peter Singer’s argument for determining when animal experiments are justified is stated in his papers “All Animals are Equal” and “Tools for Research”. His argument in regards to animal experimentation and speciesism is very thought provoking and makes the readers review their own biases regarding human/animal relations. Although some of the ideas the author brings forward, such as using mentally retarded or orphaned babies for experimentation, are radical, they do make one think about the biases we have as a species. Also, his thoughts on mammals and birds ability to feel pain being