Lecture Notes for March 22nd:

Singer's point: If we took animal suffering seriously in the way we used them for industrial processes, these things would become horrible to us. His premises for why we should take animal suffering seriously is because they should be treated with the same respect as humans in terms of right to life. The reason being is that through history, for example, humans have developed senses of thought that some of us humans are better than other humans. For instance slavery, intelligence claims. And we have found those things to be wrong. In every aspect of race superiority we have found them to be wrong. And yet the only justifications we can come up with for the suffering of animals is that we are superior to them. The rebuttal is that animals cannot even suffer from pain, emotional or physical. However, these claims are tossed aside when evidence from studies such from elephants and other more intelligent animals have been done that prove animals do (at least appear) suffer.

Singer then brings up another issue. He asks this question specifically: "What beings matter ethically and what kinds of individuals/groups/entities do I need to take into account in my decision making?" The professor discusses many different types of life as a possibility for suffering. God was brought up, Trees, and of course we continue with animals.

What things matter ethically
-will of God
-any being that suffers

-The idea that only humans matter. You can do whatever you want to any other living things. It makes no difference what they experience. The only reason why we should consider what we do to animals is because of the effect it may have on human beings. For instance when a tree is cut down, we lose the oxygen we were getting from it. Or perhaps the beauty of the tree provided some happiness for human beings. They would only care for animals because of the effect they may have on humans. Plane and simple.
Strong- Descartes
- If animals don't have rights, they don't have pain
Middle- Kant.
- Takes animals seriously. A person may be concidered cold if they to not treat animals correctly. The way we treat animals may show the way we treat human beings. He would agree that, a person who kicks a cat has bad character.
Weak- Cohen
- He believes that we are unable to reciprocate with animals.

Animal rights/liberation
- Singer and Regan

Biocentric Individualism
People believe all living things matter/ anything that strives to preserve itself matters (Taylor/ Varner)

Weeds are even brought up in to the picture. Nobody tends to like weeds in an aethsetic matter, so we kill them. They are living, and we end the life. A good debate back is that the weeds would end up killing other things. All of these arguments are forms of individualism. And in individualism, all individual living things matter. All humans matter, all plants matter, all insects matter, and all animals matter. They matter enough that we should question the consequences of what actions we take towards these living things.

He looks at two specific practices.
1.)The practice of using animals for experiments
2.)The suffering of animals for our food.
He then goes on to say that both are unjustifiable.

The class also had their input on the subject. Some students brought up the point that there are alternatives to how we use animals. For instance we do not necessarily need meat in order to attain the proper amount of protein, we could get the protein from vegatables. And yet we, as humans, tend to ignore that. Also, that society does play a major role in actions we take and things we eat.

(Land ethic/deep ecology/ecofeminism)
The idea here is not that individual lives matter. But rather the ecosystems as a whole are what matter. The chance that life can go on is what really matters. Everything else is simply trivial. The ecocentrists are saying its the groups that matter. And how you found those groups varies. The point here is that all of these groups are asking what lives matter.

Regan is with Singer in the opinion that he says all living individuals matter.

Taylor: Biocentric

Varner: Biocentric

Leopold: Ecocentrism

Naess: Ecocentrism

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