Empathy and Anger

The following are quotes regarding animal rights advocates, from the late John A.Livingston’s 1994 book, Rogue Primate “…their motives are simple enough: empathy for living beings of sentience and sensibility, wrath at their maltreatment. There is nothing in the least puzzling about that; the activities of animal rights advocates are fueled in equal measure by two of the most powerful of human emotions–compassion and anger…
“The liberation of animals would be a conscious and unilateral act on the part of humans. It would not require the perception of ‘rights’ inhering in animals; it would arise from the evaluation of human behavior, wherever and however directed.”
In other words, do humans have the right to treat other animals like shit whenever, wherever and however they feel entitled?
Livingston goes on to talk about Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation, who “…systematically disposes of traditional ‘deviousness’ in such egalitarian philosophic positions as the ‘intrinsic’ dignity and worth of the human individual, which, as every observer of our activity well knows, do not stand up even in intrahuman affairs. Conventional philosophy’s further use in maintaining the human/non-human moral separation he finds ‘outrageous,’ calling our attention to ‘the ease with which not only ordinary people, but also those most skilled in moral reasoning, can fall victim to a prevailing ideology’.”
Such is the case with the romance between today’s Humane Society of the United States and the paleo foodie movement.
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“…to discriminate against beings solely on account of their species is a form of prejudice, immoral and indefensible in the same way that discrimination on the basis of race is immoral and indefensible.” — Peter Singer

2 thoughts on “Empathy and Anger

  1. I don’t know what Pacelle had in mind. He seemed on track in the past, and it’s sad to see him cave in to trends that are regressive to animal rights. There is competition for funds, particularly with the proliferation of organizations, such as Mercy for Animas, Compassion Over Killing, and Animal Recovery Mission, along with many sanctuaries. Maybe that competition made it harder to grow the HSUS. Environmental organizations did something similar in the past when they backed down on preservation principles and the ideas of Muir in order to attract more interest and funding. Whatever the reason, I find it sad. HSUS is a big organization and has the expertise and membership to do a lot of good.

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