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Animal Liberation Even after so many years, most people remains either unaware or indifferent to the horrible way we are treating animals Most people are unaware because it is difficult to see connections when you live in a city you never leave and just see a piece of red, inanimate matter wrapped in plastic that just tastes delicious.Animal liberation must have been a shocking book, a revelation to many people about the unfair use and abuse animals suffer because of our insatiable search for pleasure, our ignorance about food, the power of the food sector and the fear of of what Just like abolitionists, Singer is a pioneer of the animal liberation movement and argues that there is fundamentally no difference among racists, sexists and specieists.Almost three years ago, I decided to stop eating animals I just did, with nobody telling me anything Never, ever, had people besides my mom when I was a child been so worried about what I ate Nobody had ever worried about my protein intake or pretty much anything else Suddenly, they do now Why is it that they feel my choices threatening Is there some guilt in them just to see me reject animals in my plate I do not think you need justifications to break your connections to this infamous, inhumane and disgusting industry However, Animal Liberation helps you to see many facts you have probably not seen and help you take that step. So this book.I love this book for what it did for bringing animal rights into the semi mainstream Singer was a proper philosopher, not just a kookie hippie His importance cannot be overstated.But it wasn t a shocking or profound read for me personally, probably because it s so very influential I spend a lot of time reading about animal ethics, so nothing neither the animal abuses recounted nor the philosophical arguments against speciesism was new to me Still, I feel remiss giving it less than 5 stars, because everything I ve read on animal ethics was influenced by this, which was the only thing that made it a bit uneventful for me to read, after all.An interesting note I think it s very significant that Peter Singer is a man If a woman had written this, how would it have been received in the 1970s How would it be received now I guarantee, if Peter Singer were Petra Singer, she would be accused of sentimentalism and bleeding heart nonsense and Bambi mentality People might disagree with Peter Singer, but he d never be accused of making his argument because it breaks his heart to see fluffy bunnies get hurt Petra Singer would be, and every solid argument she made would be delegitimized and dismissed on that basis Hands fucking down Makes me ragey.Anyway, without Animal Liberation, it would be so difficult to talk about animal rights and be taken seriously, rather than labeled a fruitcake These days, you d be hard pressed to find a philosopher who seriously argues that animals should have no moral standing at all It s mainstream ethics I love it Thank you, Peter Singer, for writing this book for helping create a world where this book isn t revolutionary any Does that make sense The Book That Started A Revolution Since its original publication in 1975, this groundbreaking work has awakened millions of concerned men and women to the shocking abuse of animals everywhere inspiring a worldwide movement to eliminate much of the cruel and unnecessary laboratory animal experimentation of years past In this newly revised and expanded edition, author Peter Singer exposes the chilling realities of today s factory forms and product testing procedures offering sound, humane solutions to what has become a profound environmental and social as well as moral issue An important and persuasive appeal to conscience, fairness, decency and justice, Animal Liberation is essential reading for the supporter and the skeptic alike. Australian philosopher, Peter Singer, wrote Animal Liberation A New Ethics For Our Treatment of Animals over forty years ago I was still in high school and it was one of the buzz books of my generation I decided to re read it with the new additions this year because my son is a life long vegetarian, he loves animals and I wondered does it still hold up Would this younger generation still want to read it The answer is yes.The treatment of farm and lab animals are still as bad as they were forty years ago and maybeeven worse Pigs and chickens are shoved into pens that are too small for them as the large industrial farming complex needs to make and profits They are kept inside and might never see the light of day their entire lives Their level of suffering, as the author points out, is inhumane and exploitative and it is our moral right not to allow this harm to continue.I don t eat red meat or pork but I do eat fowl and fish This book made me wonder, if I needed to change my ways and become a vegan, as author Peter Singer suggests In my opinion, any book that makes you question your life style choices is a good one and his argument is intelligent and persuasive If you want to educate yourself and maybe take on a new perspective, than this classic book will be for you I gave it five stars because it deserves it for being so ahead of its time and bringing animals rights to the attention of people The author s wish is that his book would change the world and that a vast amount of animal suffering can be avoided. Sur la couverture de la nouvelle dition fran aise en poche de La Lib ration animale, de Peter Singer, il y a un cheval, un cerf et une biche, un lion, un cavalier king charles, un paon, un faisan, deux l vriers afghans, un renard, deux pigeons, une petite salamandre jaune et noire, une belette et un dr le d oiseau Le cheval et le cerf se regardent comme si ils devaient d cider de la direction o mener toute leur petite troupe putain de soci t patriarcale Tout le monde a l air de vivre en bonne harmonie, m me le lion, qui est pourtant visiblement grognon Le tout sur fonds de p turages verts, et d arbres, avec d autres animaux au loin a m a rappel un tract des t moins de J hovah que j avais un jour re u dans ma bo te aux lettres une tripot e d animaux diff rents qui vivaient dans l harmonie la plus totale avec des humains Je me rappelle qu il y avait un petit gar on noir qui caressait un lion dans un bosquet, dans une sorte de vision paradisiaque, o les hommes vivraient en accord avec les animaux enfin, avec certains animaux, les animaux politiquement acceptables animaux sauvages d fendre, animaux domestique mignons, mais fi des porcs et des poulets.Dans la Lib ration animale de Peter Singer, nous parlerons pourtant de porcs et de poulets Nous parlerons de b ufs, de vaches, de veaux an mi s en fer qui tentent de l cher leur urine pour se nourrir, de truies confin es qui crasent leurs petits, de poules lev es en batterie, sur des grillages, r duites l immobilit , tel point que leurs pattes se fondent parfois dans les grilles, de beagles auxquels on arrache les yeux, de chats qu on mutile sexuellement, de singes auxquels on d coupe la bo te cr nienne, le tout sans anesth sie Nous parlerons mutilations et lectrocutions, antibiotiques, amputation du bec ou de la queue, meulage de dents, d clenchement de la d pression chez les b b s singes Vous risquez de faire de dr les de grimaces en lisant a dans le m tro.Le classique de Singer est souvent d cri derni rement, j ai encore eu l occasion de voir L a Salam la t l vision, expliquer que Singer justifie les maltraitances sur les personnes handicap es mentales, alors qu il demande ses lecteurs de bien traiter les animaux La vie d un animal non humain en bonne sant aurait donc plus de valeur que celle d un humain d ficient C est toujours une bonne id e de lire et de comprendre le livre avant de raconter n importe quoi sur une cha ne de grande audience, du coup je l ai fait apr s coup pour L a Singer am ne effectivement l argument d une personne handicap e, pour se demander dans quelle mesure la discrimination peut elle tre justifi e envers les tres vivants Nous entendons souvent dire que l homme est plus fort que les animaux, ce qui justifierait sa domination cet argument serait il valable, si l on envisage le cas d un tre humain en pleine sant , et d un tre humain en situation de handicap Nous entendons galement r guli rement dire que l homme est plus intelligent que l animal, ce qui justifierait galement sa domination sur l animal faudrait il alors admettre qu une personne d ficiente a moins de valeur qu une personne non d ficiente Pourrait on justifier la pratique de la vivisection sur cette personne, supposer qu elle ne comprenne pas ce qui lui arrive Et Singer de rappeler qu il y a peu encore, les nouveaux n s taient op r s sans anesth sie pr alable L argument convoqu , s il peut choquer, est amen , videmment, pour que le lecteur y r ponde de mani re n gative rien ne justifie un mauvais traitement d une personne d ficiente mentalement Et alors, si on ne justifie pas par la force, par l intelligence, ou par quelque autre moyen, la domination de l homme sur les animaux, ne faudrait il pas admettre qu on doit respecter la vie des animaux en soi, juste parce qu ils ont un int r t vivre Comme nous le faisons pour une personne d ficiente mentale, videmment, ou pour un nouveau n.S ensuivent deux chapitres l un concerne l exp rimentation animale, et il m a durablement choqu e Depuis que j ai commenc lire autour du sujet, j ai toujours zigzagu entre les ouvrages voquant la vivisection, car, m me si je vois la n cessit qu il y a d en apprendre plus sur le sujet, j ai clairement du mal affronter Les descriptions des m thodes de vivisection, les rapports d exp rimentations sur animaux, taient simplement horrifiques Je fais d j attention utiliser des marques de cosm tiques ou de produits d entretien qui ne testent pas, mais le chapitre m a donn envie de me renseigner plus pr cis ment sur le sujet aujourd hui en France, quelles sont les pratiques encore en vogue, comment peut on s y opposer, etc Le deuxi me chapitre voquait les pratiques d levage Celui ci a un peu valeur de document socio historique ce sont des pratiques qui se faisaient dans les ann es 80, aux Etats Unis, qui diff rent encore de celles pratiqu es aujourd hui en France Toutefois, il est int ressant de voir jusqu o on a pu aller dans l horreur, de constater que certains pays ont l gif r l poque sans acter depuis, de voir que la situation de certains animaux en levage n a aucunement progress Enfin, la derni re partie du livre plaide pour le v g tarisme Le v g talisme, le v ganisme, ne sont que rapidement abord s l auteur pense que revendiquer la puret d un r gime enti rement v g tal peut d courager d autres personnes de prendre la voie d une alimentation sans cruaut , qu il vaut mieux aller dans le bon sens, tout en militant Une position critiquable mais bon c est aussi l poque.Les questions d environnement, de sant , d empathie avec les animaux, qui pourraient nous mener un mode de vie plus thique, sont quant elles laiss es de c t finalement, la seule question qui m ne le texte est d ordre moral peut on moralement faire du mal aux animaux, alors que nous n y sommes pas oblig s Quatre cents pages qui ont chang la philosophie, et qui contribuent encore, petits pas, changer le monde Tiens, si tu as la flemme de lire parce qu il fait chaud, voil le lien d une conf rence de Peter Singer et de Mathieu Ricard puis d Aymeric Caron Animal Liberation is credited with launching the animal rights movement in the industrialized world when it was first published in 1975 by the then relatively unknown, Peter Singer You can blame all of the illogical stupidity of PETA on this book But PETA s antics tend to blind people to any logical discussion of the real points in Animal Liberation Singer does not support the animal rights movement epitomized by PETA but holds many of the same views, referred to as speciesism , based on a logical examination of the practices of the industrialized societies in their use of animals The examination is based on Utilitarian morals and ethics and you have to read the book with that frame of mind, even if you don t agree you have to be open to utilitarian ideas, to understand some of what Singer is talking about.Most people in the industrial world are far removed from how their food is produced and how their beauty products or drugs are tested and approved This blinds many people to the true magnitude of the use of animals in sustaining or modern standard of living Animal liberation strips off the blinders and exposes the realities of our system of animal exploitation Animal Liberation is an academic book on ethics but is also in your face and readable.I first read Animal Liberation when I worked in the fish store back in C ville One of our regular customers was a post doc biologist at the university She came in one day to buy 100 Zebra Danios to be used in an experiment I m not sure now what the exact nature of the experiment was but Jason argued with her and said he would not sell them to her if she was going to cut their heads open and stick electrodes in their brains Jason continues to argue by asking her have you even read Animal Liberation to which she responded, yes, have you The only thing Jason could say was, um No, actually Even though Jason, John and myself had, for a time, been vegetarian neither Jason or I had read Animal Liberation yet and I m not sure if John had finished it yet We d become vegetarians based on discussion of the principles in Animal Liberation with several of our customers and friends, including a ethics teacher at the university This was when I picked up my first copy of the book, figuring that I could not speak intelligently about the decision I had made, could not even justify the decision unless I had actually read the book I m glad it was Jason and not me that got caught on the soap box without being prepared.If it s hard to imagine going vegetarian or vegan read Animal Liberation and then think about it It s hard for anyone I ve meet to read Animal Liberation and not change their lifestyle in some way Not everyone goes vegetarian or vegan but they all change some, the arguments are compelling and the images and examples of humans use of non humans are graphic and disturbing. Peter Singer builds a step by step, iron clad ethical case for considering the welfare of animals as part of our ever expanding circle of moral consideration While non human animals may not be our equals in many respects, the only thing that really matters is their shared ability to experience pain and suffering Any attempt to draw a line between what makes humans worthy of consideration and non human animals not worthy of consideration fails in establishing any kind of logical distinction If we are to include all humans as having the right to avoid suffering, then that includes many developmentally disabled humans that are exceeded in their capacities by many non humans.Singer establishes these ethical foundations and then examines at length the use of animals in laboratory experiments and in factory farming While he outlines some of the other areas in which our interests conflict with those of animals, these are the two he focuses on for the greater balance of the book While at times I suspected that his extrapolations on figures and facts should be treated as speculations he does present them as such , the underlying logic is well defended An account is given also of the progression of Western thought about animals and interaction with animals While necessarily brief and not all inclusive, it helps to paint the broad canvas of humanity s inhumanity to non humans as well as the progress of animal advocacy and consciousness raising.Another significant aim of the book is to encourage a vegetarian diet As a life long meat eater, this was incredibly important for me to read For, if these ethical implications are true they are , then one must take a vegetarian and even a vegan diet seriously into consideration in order to be morally and ethically consistent Singer does not create this as a black and white proposition he explores the potential situations in which meat eating could be ethical, and the spectrum of consideration that corresponds to relative degrees of suffering He also addresses dietary concerns, social impact, and the language and practice of speciesism I found his treatment nuanced and thought provoking Spoiler the only potential nutrient a vegan needs to be concerned about lacking is vitamin B12, which can be had via supplements I d already heard these arguments through various other sources, and as a result have made efforts to reduce my meat consumption over the past 11 months that I have been monitoring it I admit it has not been easy for me nor a clean break, but Animal Liberation has renewed my commitment to strive for a diet that is consistent with my morals. Normally I won t review nonfiction, since most of the time I don t even give them a star rating However, there a few exceptions First of all I may end up reviewing some memoirs since I consider a good memoir to be a blend of fiction and nonfiction think James Frey here, but also less sinister examples So my major exception will be this book I feel okay with reviewing this book because I do have a philosophy degree, and also because this book had a major impact on me at a fairly young age When I was a young whippersnapper of 20 I read a brief essay by the controversial Australian philosopher Peter Singer, in the Sunday New York Times magazine this was a around the time of his protested appointment as Bioethics Professor at Princeton about poverty and the choices we make in the West The piece was simple, it was straightforward, and it was brilliant He argued that we need to do to help those who are starving and dying not a revolutionary concept, but certainly one that has yet to catch on , but he did so by drawing specific analogies of behavior which we would consider grossly unethical not stepping into mud to save a drowning child for fear of ruining a pair of 200 pants with behavior that we consider perfectly acceptable buying 200 pants when that same money could dig a well, or a send a child to school for a year, if spent elsewhere The only difference between the two being distance The only reason one is unacceptable is because we are face to face with it But how does mere distance alter the ethical demands, he asks It shouldn t, of course, is the answer This piece moved me in a direct way, and it helped to shape my decision to pursue a philosophy degree a decision which my bank account laments, but my brain appreciates But perhaps even changing was the brief bio at the end of the piece which read something to the effect of Peter Singer is the author of the seminal 1975 work Animal Liberation which posits that non human animals should be treated on the same ethical plain as humans As a young man on the Canadian prairies this idea was a bit new to me, but it also felt right I often thought that I would one day stop eating meat I enjoyed the taste, but something did seem not quite right and so I took this book out of the library A week later I ate my last piece of meat thanksgiving dinner and that was seven years ago return The book follows a similar plan to the brief piece I read in the New York Times which was called simply Rich and Poor and was the same abridged version of Famine, Affluence, and Morality also appeared in his book Practical Ethics It uses simple analogies based on ethical norms that we already accept and he broadens them to include new norms that are currently rejected In Animal Liberation one of the key arguments is that our sense of the ethical world needs to be broadened to include non human animals and that we need to redraw the bounds based on sentience roughly the ability to feel pain rather than on perceived intelligence or rationality I am restraining myself from trying to mention some of his arguments here, as they are powerful and to the point, but I would only get bogged down in the finer points and be overly concerned that I was giving Mr Singer a fair representation, also I run the risk of looking like a moron if I miss, or misinterpret, something So read the book if you want to hear the points, and I encourage you to do so He writes with a clarity and simplicity that makes it an easy though not light read This is an accessible book written for the masses and requires no philosophical background to comprehend All it takes is an open inquiring mind So give it a chance if you care at all about living an ethical life It may seem like it is impossible to do everything good, and that there are so many terrible and tempting things in the world that it you can t avoid them all, but that does not mean you shouldn t do anything Reading this book is a good place to start. I write this review from a place of some bias.Sausages Rotisserie chicken Lamb chops Bratwurst Roast Beef These words marked out the evenings of my childhood We ate meat twice a day, and on holidays thrice, moving through the day from a bacon fry up to a ham sandwich to a steak with mushroom sauce A meal without meat was considered incomplete, and vegetarianism was a scorned and alien disease that infected no one among my family or friends.I was no supermarket meat eater, hiding from the realities of the slaughterhouse My father took me into faraway mountains and across deep seas where we wielded rifle, rod and spear in anticipation of the evening s cook pot while never contemplating the lives ended at our hands.And yet, I became a Vego A tofu muncher A salad scarer The scourge of the suburban B B Q.Seventeen years ago, when I first considered becoming a vegetarian, this book, Peter Singer s Animal Liberation was the catalyst that pushed me over the line As a result, this book holds a special place in my heart as a road marker on the trail of my own personal philosophy.My bias aside, Animal Liberation is a powerful work by a renowned ethicist and a fantastic introduction to the ethical arguments for cessation or at least reduction of animal slaughter and animal experimentation Singer is no mung bean guzzling hippy blowhard He is a serious currently working at Princeton and often controversial thinker and he brings rigour to his arguments against the way we treat animals He argues strongly and effectively that to treat sentient beings poorly than we do our fellow humans is simply speciesism a neologism that has stuck with me since I encountered it.I personally find his arguments convincing, and his conclusions sound Of course, I m a long time vegetarian, so depending on your views of how red in claw nature is, or where exactly you like to see yourself in the hierarchy of the food chain, you may not get the mileage I do from a tankful of Singer.For the weak of stomach, be aware that some of what is discussed in Animal Liberation is pretty damn disturbing Horrible animal experiments, cruel slaughter and cruelty in general all share the page here, but hey, using animal products and products tested on animals makes us all culpable for these abuses, so the least we can do is bear witness and acknowledge that we have caused great pain to our fellow earthlings.Anyway, if you re at all interested in this topic, or ethics in general, read this book Animal Liberation was one of the first mainstream books on the ethics of our treatment of animals when it was published in 1975, and you ve probably encountered its literary and ethical children already, but the old warhorse is still worth a look, and bears its heavy burdens well.Postscript This book includes recipes, so if you re so fired up by Singer s arguments that you immediately swear off animal products you can flick to the back and make yourself a vego meal A seventies style vego meal if you have an older edition. I read the bible of the animal rights movement because I wanted to get some clue as to what is being thought I should consider all views in order to change, consolidate or move on my own position.On a very simple analysis, if you are guilty about existing and using the planets resources then this book will confirm your views and help you to rationalise your thoughts.If you feel that you are part of nature and have every right to exist and survive just like every other creature then you can still learn a lot about living just, compassionate and fair lives.I am not a convert to the main premise of the book, I remain a meat eater and see no problem with joining every other creature on the planet in exploiting natures resources That said, I hope to do so with a real regard for welfare of creatures and causing minimum harm to the planet.I don t find vegetarianism to be consistent with green living, every smallholder gets great benefit from keeping a pig and a few chickens These animals help to use resources that would otherwise be wasted or not fully exploited.Eating Soya as urged in the book as a protein source brings its own problems, not least transport costs As demand rises globally habitat destruction is an unintended consequence of growing this crop.In the West we do eat too much meat at present most commercial meat production is very wasteful of the planets resources We would do well to eat less meat and to care much about its sourcing and production.Peter Singer is a formidable intellect and he has a lot to teach us, but he goes farther along the road than I believe sensible We humans exist in and as a part of nature, not outside it I am a natural man and as such I will continue to exist in and use the world that I was born into I am aware of my footfall due to this book, you may rest assured that I will take every care to minimise it.