Cmpgroup7readingnotesmar29

Animal Liberations
by Peter Singer

Speciesism is the prejudice (unjustified bias) that favors one's own species over every other.
What equalizes all sentient beings is our ability to suffer….we and animals are equal and deserve equal consideration of interests.
Singer-utilitarian-goal: maximization of interest satisfaction.
He argues taht we extend the basic principle of equality to all members of species other than our own.
This principle is equality of consideration, and equal consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights.
The principle of equality of human beings is not a description of an alleged actual equality among humans, it is a perscription of how we should treat humans.
If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit nonhumans?
The question is not whether or not animals can reason or talk, but if they can suffer?
If a being suffers there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration. No matter what the nature of the being, the principle of equality requires that its suffering be counted equally with the like suffering of any other being.
The suffering we inflict on animals while they are alive is inhumane. Our society tolerates animals beinfg totured by living in unsuitable living conditions. Animals are treated like machines.
To avoid speciesism we must change our ways and everyone has a moral obligation to change these practices.
Experimenting is awful as well. We would not chose to experiment on an orphaned infant or human with severe and irreversible brain damage, but we will perform inhumane experiments on nonhumans. This is discrimination because some adult apes, cats, mice, and other mammals are more aware of what is happening to them, more self directing, and at least sensitive to pain as any human infant.
Experimenting on animals and eating their flesh are perhaps the two major forms of speciesism in our society.

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