Download PDF by Michael P. T. Leahy: Against Liberation: Putting Animals in Perspective

By Michael P. T. Leahy

The Western global is presently gripped through an obsessive hindrance for the rights of animals - their makes use of and abuses. during this ebook, Leahy argues that this can be a flow dependent upon a sequence of primary misconceptions concerning the uncomplicated nature of animals.
This is an intensive philosophical wondering of winning perspectives on animal rights, which credits animals with a self-consciousness like ours. Leahy's conclusions have implications for matters resembling bloodsports, meat consuming and fur buying and selling.

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Additional resources for Against Liberation: Putting Animals in Perspective

Sample text

The view that pain really is a private and internal state known only to observers by its behavioural and chemical correlates allows the possibility (Singer’s ‘conceivability’) that cucumbers might, just might, feel it. Clark, with reservations, allows this very point: ‘Some plants may be individuals, as trees probably are; some plants may have points of view. Some plants may feel’ (Clark 1977: 171). Singer’s emphatic disclaimer, ‘None of the grounds we have for believing that animals feel pain hold for plants’ (1979:61), is insufficient to rule it out as conceivable in his terms.

Humans can of course suffer greatly when there is little or no pain; other perhaps than the pain of suffering, if such can be spoken of. For example, lumps that do not hurt when pressed can nonetheless have catastrophic consequences and reduce people to the depths of despair. Are animals capable of this? Mary Midgley, for instance, mentions that ‘social birds and mammals are upset by solitude, or by the removal of their young’ (1983:90). This is suffering without pain. Are these descriptions misleadingly specific in attributing to the animals concerned the mental competence of human beings?

Lorenz, writing of the pecking order of chickens, wolves, and jackdaws in King Solomon’s Ring (1964:147–52), uses the example of a Javanese monkey to show how deeply rooted and matterofcourse the deference to a superior can become (148). Now Figan, seeing Goliath in close proximity, was scared out of his sight and with nothing better to do just hung around more or less losing interest in the banana. He sees Goliath leaving, interest in the banana is rekindled, and he takes it; no sizing up, nor careful planning, just class-consciousness and opportunism.

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