Animals as Persons

Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation

GARY L. FRANCIONE
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 256
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/fran13950
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  • Book Info
    Animals as Persons
    Book Description:

    A prominent and respected philosopher of animal rights law and ethical theory, Gary L. Francione is known for his criticism of animal welfare laws and regulations, his abolitionist theory of animal rights, and his promotion of veganism and nonviolence as the baseline principles of the abolitionist movement. In this collection, Francione advances the most radical theory of animal rights to date. Unlike Peter Singer, Francione maintains that we cannot morally justify using animals under any circumstances, and unlike Tom Regan, Francione's theory applies to all sentient beings, not only to those who have more sophisticated cognitive abilities.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-51156-8
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Gary Steiner

    Paradigm shifts in human thought always depend on iconoclasts who are not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom. Although our thinking in the past generation about the moral status of animals has advanced in certain respects, its fundamental presuppositions have suffered from a debilitating stagnation. In contemporary thought no individual has been doing more to challenge these presuppositions in a fruitful way than Gary Francione.

    The past generation of thinking about animals has been dominated by the thought of Peter Singer and Tom Regan. Indeed, Singer’s and Regan’s work on animals has been so influential that few thinkers have been willing...

  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  5. INTRODUCTION: THE ABOLITION OF ANIMAL USE VERSUS THE REGULATION OF ANIMAL TREATMENT
    (pp. 1-24)

    In order to understand how we think about animals as a moral and a legal matter—both historically and at the present time—it is necessary to consider two different aspects of our relationship with other animals: our use of animals and our treatment of animals. These aspects are different because whether we use animals at all for a particular purpose is a different question from how we treat them pursuant to that purpose. For example, whether it is morally acceptable to kill and eat animals at all is a different question from how we treat the animals we eat...

  6. CHAPTER 1 ANIMALS—PROPERTY OR PERSONS?
    (pp. 25-66)

    When it comes to other animals, we humans exhibit what can best be described as moral schizophrenia. Although we claim to take animals seriously and to regard them as having morally significant interests, we routinely ignore those interests for trivial reasons. In this essay, I argue that our moral schizophrenia is related to the status of animals as property, which means that animals are nothing more than things despite the many laws that supposedly protect them. If we are going to make good on our claim to take animal interests seriously, then we have no choice but to accord animals...

  7. CHAPTER 2 REFLECTIONS ON ANIMALS, PROPERTY, AND THE LAW AND RAIN WITHOUT THUNDER
    (pp. 67-128)

    In my 1995 book, Animals, Property, and the Law, I argue that animal-welfare laws do not provide any significant protection to nonhuman animals because nonhumans are the property of humans.¹ Animals are things that we own and that have only extrinsic or conditional value as means to our ends. We may as a matter of personal choice attach a higher value to our companion animals, such as dogs and cats, but as far as the law is concerned, even these animals are nothing more than commodities. As a general matter, we do not regard animals as having any intrinsic value...

  8. CHAPTER 3 TAKING SENTIENCE SERIOUSLY
    (pp. 129-147)

    In 1993, a number of scholars collaborated on a book of essays entitled The Great Ape Project (GAP).¹ The book was accompanied by a document, A Declaration on Great Apes, to which the editors and contributors subscribed. The Declaration stated that the great apes “are the closest relatives of our species” and that these nonhumans “have mental capacities and an emotional life sufficient to justify inclusion within the community of equals.”² In recent years, reflecting the inquiry and concerns of GAP and the organization of the same name that evolved from it,³ a considerable literature has developed that discusses the...

  9. CHAPTER 4 EQUAL CONSIDERATION AND THE INTEREST OF NONHUMAN ANIMALS IN CONTINUED EXISTENCE: A Response to Professor Sunstein
    (pp. 148-169)

    The topic of this symposium—Law and Life: Definitions and Decision-making—provides an excellent opportunity to address some of the comments made by Professor Cass R. Sunstein in his review of my book, Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog?¹ A central argument in the book is that we cannot justify treating nonhumans as our property and using them for our purposes irrespective of how “humanely” we do so. Sunstein, on the other hand, maintains that it is morally permissible to use animals for human purposes, including uses that cannot be regarded as necessary, provided that we do...

  10. CHAPTER 5 THE USE OF NONHUMAN ANIMALS IN BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH: Necessity and Justification
    (pp. 170-185)

    Discourse about the use of animals in biomedical research usually focuses on two issues. The first, which I will refer to as the “necessity issue,” is empirical and asks whether the use of nonhumans in experiments is required in order to gather statistically valid information that will contribute in a significant way to improving human health. The second, which I will refer to as the “justification issue,” is moral and asks whether the use of nonhumans in biomedical research, if necessary as an empirical matter, can be defended as a matter of ethical theory.

    If it is not necessary as...

  11. CHAPTER 6 ECOFEMINISM AND ANIMAL RIGHTS: A Review of Beyond Animal Rights: A Feminist Caring Ethic for the Treatment of Animals
    (pp. 186-209)

    For the past several years, Josephine Donovan and Carol J. Adams, together with Marti Kheel, Kenneth Shapiro and Brian Luke, have been arguing that animal rights provides an inadequate basis for the liberation of nonhumans from the often barbaric and virtually always exploitative way in which we treat them.¹ They have argued that rights are patriarchal and that rights theory perpetuates human hierarchy over animals. They claim to go “beyond” animal rights by importing a concept central to much recent feminist writing—the ethic of care—into the debate about animals.

    The ethic of care is located within the view...

  12. CHAPTER 7 COMPARABLE HARM AND EQUAL INHERENT VALUE: The Problem of the Dog in the Lifeboat
    (pp. 210-230)

    In The Case for Animal Rights, Tom Regan posits the following hypothetical: five survivors—four normal adults and one normal dog—are on a lifeboat. There is room in the boat only for four, and one of the occupants must be thrown overboard. Regan maintains that his rights theory provides an answer to the problem. Although death is a harm for the dog, Regan argues, death would be a qualitatively greater loss, and, accordingly, a greater harm, for any of the humans: “To throw any one of the humans overboard, to face certain death, would be to make that individual...

  13. REFERENCE GUIDE TO SELECTED TOPICS
    (pp. 231-235)