A guidebook for examining our personal and ethical beliefs about human treatment of animals
Introduction to Animal Rights
Your Child or the Dog?
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Gary L. Francione, foreword by Alan Watson
Two-thirds of Americans polled by the Associated Press agree with the following statement: "An animal's right to live free of suffering should be just as important as a person's right to live free of suffering." More than 50 percent of Americans believe that it is wrong to kill animals to make fur coats or to hunt them for sport. But these same Americans eat hamburgers, take their children to circuses and rodeos, and use products developed with animal testing. How do we justify our inconsistency?
In this easy-to-read introduction, animal rights advocate Gary Francione looks at our conventional moral thinking about animals. Using examples, analogies, and thought-experiments, he reveals the dramatic inconsistency between what we say we believe about animals and how we actually treat them.
Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? provides a guidebook to examining our social and personal ethical beliefs. It takes us through concepts of property and equal consideration to arrive at the basic contention of animal rights: that everyonehuman and non-humanhas the right not to be treated as a means to an end. Along the way, it illuminates concepts and theories that all of us use but few of us understandthe nature of "rights" and "interests," for example, and the theories of Locke, Descartes, and Bentham.
Filled with fascinating information and cogent arguments, this is a book that you may love or hate, but that will never fail to inform, enlighten, and educate.
"In this brilliantly argued and very clear and accessible book, Gary Francione argues that the moral significance of animals necessitates that we reject the use and treatment of animals as resources or as property. If we take animal interests seriously, we must abolish and not merely regulate our use of animals for food, research, and entertainment. This book is required reading for anyone interested in clear thinking about the human/animal relationship."
"In this splendidly clear and original book, Gary Francione demonstrates the profound flaw in our thinking about animals and their moral status. He brings to light the clash between the principles to which we take ourselves to be committed, and the reality we live, a reality shaped by the conception of animals as property."
"Gary Francione claims that most of us are morally schizophrenic and demonstrates well that there often is a wide gulf between what we claim is due to other animals and what we actually do to them. He argues that animals have a right not to be viewed as things; their lives do matter, they have interests, and they should be firmly entrenched in the moral community."
"[Francione] lays out his argument simply and forcefully...[the book is] a frank, lucid polemic that belongs on every 'animal-lover's' bookshelf."
Read an article from the Philadelphia City Paper, 7 September 2000, written by Vance Lehmkuhl.
Foreword Alan Watson