Singer compared speciesism (the belief that the human race is superior to other species, and that exploitation of animals for the advantage of humans is justified) with racism and sexism, and said "there is no good reason for refusing to extend the basic principle of equality- the principle of equality consideration of interests, to non-human animals." Singer argued specifically against eating animals and animal experimentation, and suggested that there are "nutritionally sufficient alternatives" to eating meat.
Singer said "the pleasures of our palate cannot outweigh the suffering inflicted on animals by the standard procedures of commercial farming; making vegetarianism the only ethically acceptable diet." On animal experimentation, Singer urged this argument "In considering whether a given experiment is justifiable, we ask ourselves whether we would be prepared to perform it on an orphaned human who is at a mental level similar to that of the proposed animal subject.
Humans and nonhumans obviously are not equal in these respects.
Since justice demands only that we treat equals equally, unequal treatment of humans and nonhumans cannot be an injustice. View Offer Continue reading this article, and thousands more from our complete 55 year archive, for the low introductory rate of just $1 a month.
Consequently, anyone who cares about the welfare of non-human animals must acknowledge an enormous debt to Singer.
However, it is important to distinguish the beneficial impact Singer’s work has had on public awareness from the philosophical arguments he uses to defend the moral claims of non-humans. And this chapter is concerned purely with the philosophical arguments.If you are already a subscriber, please be sure you are logged in to your account.To understand Peter Singer and his work, it's helpful to examine his views on animal rights, euthanasia, and charity.Only if the answer was affirmative could we claim that our readiness to use the animal was not based on a speciesist prejudice against giving that interest of non human animals a similar weight to the interests of members of our own species." Singer is trying to make people see that animals and humans are on an even moral pla...Is there something distinctive about humanity that justifies the idea that humans have moral status while non-humans do not?There are essays by two novelist/critics, Brigid Brophy and Maureen Duffy, and another by Muriel the Lady Dowding, widow of Dowding of Battle of Britain fame and the founder of “Beauty without Cruelty,” a movement that campaigns against the use of animals for furs and cosmetics.The other pieces are by a psychologist, a botanist, a sociologist, and Ruth Harrison, who is probably best described as a professional campaigner for animal welfare.This latter group expects that in answering the question in a particular way, humans will be justified in granting moral consideration to other humans that is neither required nor justified when considering non-human animals.In contrast to this view, an increasing number of philosophers have argued that while humans are different in a variety of ways from each other and other animals, these differences do not provide a philosophical defense for denying non-human animals moral consideration.Peter Singer can, with justification, be regarded as the founding father of the contemporary animal liberation movement.The increased public awareness of what exactly transpires in our treatment of non-humans — in factory farming, medical research, product testing, and so on — is, to a significant extent, due to the wide circulation of his work.