Animal Rights

Animal Rights: A Historical Anthology

ANDREW LINZEY
PAUL BARRY CLARKE
Copyright Date: 1990
Pages: 256
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/linz13420
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Animal Rights
    Book Description:

    This comprehensive and diverse anthology, the only one of its kind, illuminates the complex evolution of moral thought regarding animals and includes writings from ancient Greece to the present. Animal Rights reveals the ways in which a variety of thinkers have addressed such issues as our ethical responsibilities for the welfare of animals, whether animals have rights, and what it means to be human.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50872-8
    Subjects: Philosophy, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-ix)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. x-xii)
    TOM REGAN

    Revolutions have been a favourite topic of political theorists. And not just political revolutions. Intellectual revolutions – revolutions of ideas – have commanded equal time. Indeed, the ideas of political theorists often have laid the foundations of real-world revolutions. One need only mention Rousseau and Marx to confirm the point. Without bread, the human body perishes. But without ideas, the human spirit withers. It is not for bread alone that political theorists have laboured.

    It is odd, then, that most contemporary political theorists have been conspicuous by their absence in the revolutionary times in which we find ourselves. For there is a...

  5. Introduction
    (pp. xiii-xxii)
    P.A.B. Clarke and Andrew Linzey

    The main purpose of this book is to show a long and continuing relation between political theory and concerns about the status of animals. In exhibiting those concerns, issues are raised which not only have bearings on the particular question of animal rights but also upon the grounds on which justice, both for humans and for animals, has been based and challenged. To some the relation between political theory and animal rights may appear tenuous. Surely, it may be questioned, the notion that the non-human world has rights is a modern, almost contemporary, idea, quite separate from political theory with...

  6. Beyond Caricature: Preface to the Columbia University Press Edition
    (pp. xxiii-xxxiv)
    ANDREW LINZEY
  7. Part I: Differences Between Humans and Animals
    • 1. Creation of the Universe
      (pp. 3-6)
      Plato

      Timaeus: Let me tell you then why the creator made this world of generation. He was good, and the good can never have any jealousy of anything. And being free from jealousy, he desired that all things should be as like himself as they could be. This is in the truest sense the origin of creation and of the world, as we shall do well in believing on the testimony of wise men. God desired that all things should be good and nothing bad, so far as this was attainable. Wherefore also finding the whole visible sphere not at rest,...

    • 2. Animals are not Political
      (pp. 6-7)
      Aristotle

      When many villages so entirely join themselves together as in every respect to form but one society, that society is a city, and contains in itself, if I may so speak, the end and perfection of government: first founded that we might live, but continued that we may live happily. For which reason every city must be allowed to be the work of nature, if we admit that the original society between male and female is; for to this as their end all subordinate societies tend, and the end of everything is the nature of it. For what every being...

    • 3. Animals are not Rational Creatures
      (pp. 7-12)
      St Thomas Aquinas

      In the first place, then, the very condition of the rational creature, as having dominion over its actions, requires that the care of providence should be bestowed on it for its own sake; whereas the condition of other things, that have no dominion over their actions, shows that they are cared for, not for their own sake, but as being directed to other things. For that which acts only when moved by another is like an instrument, whereas that which acts by itself is like a principal agent. Now an instrument is required, not for its own sake, but that...

    • 4. The Human and the Beast
      (pp. 12-14)
      Niccolò Machiavelli

      It is unquestionably very praiseworthy in princes to be faithful to their engagements; but among those of the present day who have been distinguished for great exploits few indeed have been remarkable for this virtue or have scrupled to deceive others who may have relied on their good faith.

      It should therefore be known that there are two ways of deciding any contest: the one by laws, the other by force. The first is peculiar to men, the second to beasts: but when laws are not sufficiently powerful, it is necessary to recur to force: a prince ought therefore to...

    • 5. Animals as Automata
      (pp. 14-17)
      Renè Descartes

      I had expounded all these matters with sufficient minuteness in the treatise which I formerly thought of publishing. And after these, I had shown what must be the fabric of the nerves and muscles of the human body to give the animal spirits contained in it the power to move the members, as when we see heads shordy after they have been struck off still move and bite the earth, although no longer animated; what changes must take place in the brain to produce walking, sleep, and dreams; how light, sounds, odours, tastes, heat, and all the other qualities of...

    • 6. Animals have no Language
      (pp. 17-21)
      Thomas Hobbes

      Speech or language is the connexion of names constituted by the will of men to stand for the series of conceptions of the things about which we think. Therefore, as a name is to an idea or conception of a thing, so is speech to the discourse of the mind. And it seems to be peculiar to man. For even if some brute animals, taught by practice, grasp what we wish and command in words, they do so not through words as words, but as signs; for animals do not know that words are constituted by the will of men...

    • 7. Understanding in Animals
      (pp. 21-25)
      John Locke

      –This faculty of laying up and retaining the ideas that are brought into the mind, several other animals seem to have to a great degree, as well as man. For to pass by other instances, birds learning of tunes, and the endeavours one may observe in them to hit the notes right, put it past doubt with me, that they have perception and retain ideas in their memories, and use them for patterns. For it seems to me impossible, that they should endeavour to conform their voices to notes (as it is plain they do) of which they had...

    • 8. A Response to Locke
      (pp. 25-26)
      George Berkeley

      I proceed to examine what can be alleged in defence of the doctrine of abstraction, and try if I can discover what it is that inclines the men of speculation to embrace an opinion so remote from common sense as that seems to be. There has been a late deservedly esteemed philosopher, who, no doubt, has given it very much countenance by seeming to think the having abstract general ideas is what puts the widest difference in point of understanding betwixt man and beast. ‘The having of general ideas,’ saith he, ‘is that which puts a perfect distinction betwixt man...

    • 9. Of the Reason of Animals
      (pp. 27-29)
      David Hume

      Next to the ridicule of denying an evident truth, is that of taking much pains to defend it; and no truth appears to me more evident, than that beasts are endow’d with thought and reason as well as men. The arguments are in this case so obvious, that they never escape the most stupid and ignorant.

      We are conscious that we ourselves, in adapting means to ends, are guided by reason and design, and that ’tis not ignorantly nor casually we perform those actions, which tend to self-preservation, to obtaining pleasure, and avoiding pain. When therefore we see other creatures,...

    • 10. On Animal Souls
      (pp. 29-32)
      Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

      Philosophers have been much perplexed about the origin of forms, entelechies, or souls; but nowadays it has become known, through careful studies of plants, insects, and animals, that the organic bodies of nature are never products of chaos or putrefaction, but always come from seeds, in which there was undoubtedly some preformation; and it is held that not only the organic body was already there before conception, but also a soul in this body, and, in short, the animal itself; and that by means of conception this animal has merely been prepared for the great transformation involved in its becoming...

    • 11. Freedom of the Will
      (pp. 32-34)
      Jean-Jacques Rousseau

      I see nothing in any animal but an ingenious machine, to which nature hath given senses to wind itself up, and to guard itself, to a certain degree, against anything that might tend to disorder or destroy it. I perceive exactly the same things in the human machine, with this difference, that in the operations of the brute, nature is the sole agent, whereas man has some share in his own operations, in his character as a free agent. The one chooses and refuses by instinct, the other from an act of free will hence the brute cannot deviate from...

    • 12. Organic Difference
      (pp. 34-36)
      Johann G. Herder

      The human species has been praised for possessing in the most perfected form all the powers and capacities of every other species. This is patently untrue. Not only is the assertion incapable of empirical proof; it is also logically insupportable, for it is self-contradictory. Clearly, if it were true, one power would cancel out the other and man would be the most wretched of creatures. For how could man at one and the same time bloom like a flower, feel his way like the spider, build like the bee, suck like the butterfly, and also possess the muscular strength of...

    • 13. Animals have no Concepts
      (pp. 37-39)
      Artur Schopenhauer

      It must be possible to arrive at a complete knowledge of the consciousness of the brutes, for we can construct it by abstracting certain properties of our own consciousness. On the other hand, there enters into the consciousness of the brute instinct, which is much more developed in all of them than in man, and in some of them extends to what we call mechanical instinct.

      The brutes have understanding without having reason, and therefore they have knowledge of perception but no abstract knowledge. They apprehend correctly, and also grasp the immediate causal connection, in the case of the higher...

    • 14. Animals are not Self-Aware
      (pp. 39-42)
      G. W. F. Hegel

      When the spirit strives towards its centre, it strives to perfect its own freedom; and this striving is fundamental to its nature. To say that spirit exists would at first seem to imply that it is a completed entity. On the contrary, it is by nature active, and activity is its essence; it is its own product, and is therefore its own beginning and its own end. Its freedom does not consist in static being, but in a constant negation of all that threatens to destroy freedom. The business of spirit is to produce itself, to make itself its own...

    • 15. An Animal is not a Species Being
      (pp. 42-44)
      Karl Marx

      Man is a species-being, not only because in practice and in theory he adopts the species (his own as well as those of other things) as his object, but – and this is only another way of expressing it – also because he treats himself as the actual, living species; because he treats himself as a universal and therefore a free being.

      The life of the species, both in man and in animals, consists physically in the fact that man (like the animal) lives on inorganic nature; and the more universal man (or the animal) is, the more universal is the sphere...

    • 16. On the Genius of Species
      (pp. 44-46)
      Friedrich Nietzsche

      The problem of consciousness (or more correctly: of becoming conscious of oneself) meets us only when we begin to perceive in what measure we could dispense with it: and it is at the beginning of this perception that we are now placed by physiology and zoology (which have thus required two centuries to overtake the hint thrown out in advance by Leibniz). For we could in fact think, feel, will, and recollect, we could likewise ‘act’ in every sense of the term, and nevertheless nothing of it all would require to ‘come into consciousness’ (as one says metaphorically). The whole...

    • 17. The Lure of the Simple Distinction
      (pp. 47-50)
      Mary Midgley

      Man has always had a good opinion of himself, and with reason. What, however, is essentially the ground of it? What finally (you may ask) does distinguish man from the animals?

      Nearly everything is wrong with this question.

      First – as I have been saying – unless we take man to be a machine or an angel, it should read ‘distinguish man among the animals,’ and animals of this planet at that, with no extraterrestrial nonsense to give us all the drawbacks of religion and none of its benefits.

      Second, as the question is usually put, it asks for a single, simple,...

  8. Part II: Dominion and the Limits to Power
    • 1. The Golden Age
      (pp. 53-55)
      Plato

      Stranger: ... The life about which you ask, when all the fruits of the earth sprang up of their own accord for men, did not belong at all to the present period of revolution, but this also belonged to the previous one. For then, in the beginning, God ruled and supervised the whole revolution, and so again, in the same way, all the parts of the universe were divided by regions among gods who ruled them, and, moreover, the animals were distributed by species and flocks among inferior deities as divine shepherds, each of whom was in all respects the...

    • 2. Animals are for Our Use
      (pp. 56-58)
      Aristotle

      But whether any person is such by nature, and whether it is advantageous and just for any one to be a slave or no, or whether all slavery is contrary to nature, shall be considered hereafter; not that it is difficult to determine it upon general principles, or to understand it from matters of fact; for that some should govern, and others be governed, is not only necessary but useful, and from the hour of their birth some are marked out for those purposes, and others for the other, and there are many species of both sorts. And the better...

    • 3. Rational Domination
      (pp. 59-60)
      St Augustine

      It is not without significance, that in no passage of the holy canonical books there can be found either divine precept or permission to take away our own life, whether for the sake of entering on the enjoyment of immortality, or of shunning, or ridding ourselves of anything whatever. Nay, the law, rightly interpreted, even prohibits suicide, where it says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ This is proved specially by the omission of the words ‘thy neighbour’, which are inserted when false witness is forbidden: ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.’ Nor yet should any one on this...

    • 4. Unrestricted Dominion
      (pp. 60-63)
      StThomas Aquinas

      We next consider the mastership which belonged to man in the state of innocence. Under this head there are four points of inquiry: (1) Whether man in the state of innocence was master over the animals? (2) Whether he was master over all creatures? (3) Whether in the state of innocence all men were equal? (4) Whether in that state man would have been master over men?

      First Article

      Whether Adam in the State of Innocence had

      Mastership over the Animals?

      We proceed thus to the first article:

      Objection 1. It would seem that in the state of innocence Adam...

    • 5. Difference does Not Justify Domination
      (pp. 64-65)
      Michel E. de Montaigne

      We are neither superior nor inferior to the rest. All that is under heaven, says the sage, is subject to one law and one fate:

      Enshackled in the gruesome bonds of doom. (Lucretius)

      Some difference there is; there are orders and degrees, but uner the aspect of one same Nature:

      But each sole thing

      Proceeds according to its proper wont,

      And all conserve their own distinctions, based

      In Nature’s fixed decree. (Lucretius)

      Man must be forced and lined up within the barriers of this organization. The poor wretch has no mind really to step over them. He is shackled and...

    • 6. Animals in the Cosmic Hierarchy
      (pp. 66-67)
      Richard Hooker

      In the matter of knowledge, there is between the angels of God and the children of men this difference: angels already have full and complete knowledge in the highest degree that can be imparted unto them; men, if we view them in their spring, are at the first without understanding or knowledge at all. Nevertheless from this utter vacuity they grow by degrees, till they come at length to be even as the angels themselves are. That which agreeth to the one now, the other shall attain unto in the end; they are not so far disjoined and severed, but...

    • 7. The Right of Nature
      (pp. 67-67)
      Thomas Hobbes

      We get a right over irrational creatures, in the same manner that we do over the persons of men; to wit, by force and natural strength. For if in the state of nature it is lawful for every one, by reason of that war which is of all against all, to subdue and also to kill men as oft as it shall seem to conduce unto their good; much more will the same be lawful against brutes; namely, at their own discretion to reduce those to servitude, which by art may be tamed and fitted for use, and to persecute...

    • 8. Dominion is Subject to Law
      (pp. 68-71)
      Samuel Pufendorf

      We observe that brute beasts, which are below our condition of life, also enjoy liberty to some degree. But with them it is only of a low kind, since their strength and the dullness of their senses is confined within narrow limits, while their appetite is so base that it concerns itself with but few objects and with them in a very cursory manner, and is stirred only by the crude and everywhere obvious things which serve the belly. They have, furthermore, no customs, or law, or right which they are obligated to observe, either among themselves or towards men....

    • 9. The Workmanship Model
      (pp. 71-71)
      John Locke

      But though this be a state of liberty, yet it is not a state of licence; though man in that state have an uncontrollable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions, yet he has not liberty to destroy himself, or so much as any creature in his possession, but where some nobler use than its bare preservation calls for it. The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one; and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that, being all equal and independent, no one ought...

    • 10. Responsibility to the Weak
      (pp. 72-76)
      Alexander Pope

      I cannot think it extravagant to imagine, that mankind are no less, in proportion, accountable for the ill use of their dominion over creatures of the lower rank of beings, than for the exercise of tyranny over their own species. The more entirely the inferior creation is submitted to our power, the more answerable we should seem for our mismanagement of it; and the rather, as the very condition of nature renders these creatures incapable of receiving any recompense in another life, for their ill treatment in this.

      ’Tis observable of those noxious animals, which have qualities most powerful to...

    • 11. Animals do Not Make War on Humans
      (pp. 76-78)
      Jean-Jacques Rousseau

      Accustomed from their infancy to the inclemencies of the weather and the rigour of the seasons, inured to fatigue, and forced, naked and unarmed, to defend themselves and their prey from other ferocious animals, or to escape them by flight, men would acquire a robust and almost unalterable constitution. The children, bringing with them into the world the excellent constitution of their parents, and fortifying it by the very exercises which first produced it, would thus acquire all the vigour of which the human frame is capable. Nature in this case treats them exactly as Sparta treated the children of...

    • 12. Animals may be Used
      (pp. 78-79)
      Immanuel Kant

      In any country, there are, of course, various products of nature that nevertheless, because of their abundance, must be regarded as artifacts (artefacta) of the state, inasmuch as the land would not have produced so much had there been no state or powerful government, but the inhabitants had, instead, remained in a state of nature. For example, because of shortage of feed or beasts of prey, hens (the most useful species of bird), sheep, swine, cattle, and the like would either not exist at all in the country in which I live or would be exceedingly rare if there were...

    • 13. Dominion and Property
      (pp. 79-84)
      Johann Gottlieb Fichte

      There are also animals upon the earth who may be useful to men in their accidences, or whose substances may be useful to men; their meat to eat, their skin for various purposes, etc. If any citizen intends to subject only the accidences of such animals to his ends, he must first make the animal subservient to him. Moreover, since the animals are fed and kept alive only by organized matter, and since it is not to be expected that nature will take care of them after they have once been made art-products, he must replace nature in becoming their...

    • 14. The Limits to Power
      (pp. 84-87)
      John Stuart Mill

      In a Mansion-House report of last week, it is stated that one William Burn was charged before the Lord Mayor ‘with having most cruelly beaten one of the horses he was driving in a waggon. He had been sitting on the middle horse, which was without reins, and he struck one of the poor animals most desperately about the head with the butt-end of his whip. The horse fell, and the prisoner struck it even more brutally when down. The Lord Mayor expressed great indignation at the conduct of the defendant, and was about to fine him to the utmost...

    • 15. Animals as Utilities
      (pp. 87-88)
      Henry Sidgwick

      To whatever extent the surface of the earth is appropriated to the exclusive occupation of individuals, its vegetable products will, of course, belong primarily to the occupier, as – generally speaking – no one else can enjoy them without his consent. Often, of course, their growth is altogether due to his exertion and care, or admits of being materially aided thereby; in fact the encouragement of such production is, as we have seen, the chief end that justifies the appropriation of the soil. So again, where the labour and care of the occupier is directly applied to tame animals that feed on...

    • 16. Nature Teaches Mutual Aid
      (pp. 88-90)
      Peter Kropotkin

      That life in societies is the most powerful weapon in the struggle for life, taken in its widest sense, has been illustrated by several examples on the foregoing pages, and could be illustrated by any amount of evidence, if further evidence were required. Life in societies enables the feeblest insects, the feeblest birds, and the feeblest mammals to resist, or to protect themselves from, the most terrible birds and beasts of prey; it permits longevity; it enables the species to rear its progeny with the least waste of energy and to maintain its numbers albeit a very slow birth-rate; it...

    • 17. Dominion as Power
      (pp. 91-92)
      Bertrand Russell

      I met recently a mountain climber of considerable skill and first-rate intellect, in fact a man of international eminence in the world of learning, who somewhat surprised me by a theory to which, he said, his observations had led him. Mountains, he said, are made to be climbable: on rocks, foot-holds and handholds are found just at such distances as are necessary for a full-grown man. He contended that, if men were twice the size they are, existing climbs would become too easy to be interesting, but few new ones would be possible, so that mountain climbing would no longer...

    • 18. Critique of the Principle of Domination
      (pp. 92-95)
      Max Horkheimer

      Modern insensitivity to nature is indeed only a variation of the pragmatic attitude that is typical of western civilization as a whole. The forms are different. The early trapper saw in the prairies and mountains only the prospects of good hunting; the modern businessman sees in the landscape an opportunity for the display of cigarette posters. The fate of animals in our world is symbolized by an item printed in newspapers of a few years ago. It reported that landings of planes in Africa were often hampered by herds of elephants and other beasts. Animals are here considered simply as...

    • 19. Dominion is Social
      (pp. 95-98)
      Rosalind Coward

      There is in fact nothing in nature which permits a reading of male aggression as inevitable, female passivity and weakness as eternal. Certainly, animals mate, animals breed and animals sometime fight (often male animals, but not always). But it is an illegitimate leap of thought to deduce that the same meanings can be derived from the same acts in both the human and animal worlds.

      There can be no way in which aggression, dominance, mating and so on have the same place within human society as they do in animal society. There are crucial differences between human and animal societies;...

  9. Part III: Justice, Rights and Obligations
    • 1. Justice Requires Friendship
      (pp. 101-102)
      Aristotle

      Each of the constitutions may be seen to involve friendship just in so far as it involves justice. The friendship between a king and his subjects depends on an excess of benefits conferred; for he confers benefits on his subjects if being a good man he cares for them with a view to their well-being, as a shepherd does for his sheep (whence Homer called Agamemnon: ‘shepherd of the peoples’). Such too is the friendship of a father, though this exceeds the other in the greatness of the benefits conferred; for he is responsible for the existence of his children,...

    • 2. No Friendship with Irrational Creatures
      (pp. 102-105)
      StThomas Aquinas

      Objection 1. It would seem unlawful to kill any living thing. For the Apostle says (Romans xiii, 2): ‘They that resist the ordinance of God purchase to themselves damnation.’ Now Divine providence has ordained that all living things should be preserved, according to Psalms cxlvi, 8, 9, ‘Who maketh grass to grow on the mountains ... Who giveth to beasts their food’. Therefore it seems unlawful to take the life of any living thing.

      Objection 2. Further, murder is a sin because it deprives a man of life. Now life is common to all animals and plants. Hence for the...

    • 3. Exclusion from Friendship is Not Rational
      (pp. 105-112)
      Michel E. de Montaigne

      If it be justice to give every one his due, the beasts which serve, love and defend their benefactors, and that pursue and injure strangers and those who hurt them, by doing so reflect some of our notions of justice; as they do also in observing a very just equality in distributing their goods among their young.

      With regard to friendship, that of animals is without comparison more passionate and more constant than that of man. King Lysimachus’ dog, Hyrcanus, when his master was dead, obstinately remained in his bed, refusing to eat and drink; on the day when the...

    • 4. The Government of Animals
      (pp. 112-116)
      Thomas Hobbes

      It is of itself manifest that the actions of men proceed from the will, and the will from hope and fear, insomuch as when they shall see a greater good or less evil likely to happen to them by the breach than observation of the laws, they will wittingly violate them. The hope therefore which each man hath of his security and self-preservation, consists in this, that by force or craft he may disappoint his neighbour, either openly or by stratagem. Whence we may understand, that the natural laws, though well understood, do not instantly secure any man in their...

    • 5. Animals have no Intrinsic Rights
      (pp. 116-119)
      Samuel Pufendorf

      The Roman Jurisconsults used to define the law of nature as ‘what nature taught all animals’, not, therefore, what is peculiar to man alone, but ‘what other animals as well are supposed to know’. And so, on this hypothesis, whatever brutes and men are understood to be attracted to in common, or in common to avoid, belongs to the law of nature, and consequently a law is postulated which is common both to men and brutes. This opinion probably arose from that theory, proclaimed by certain ancients, regarding the soul of the universe, of which soul all others. are but...

    • 6. Cruelty is Not Natural
      (pp. 119-121)
      John Locke

      One thing I have frequently observed in children, that, when they have got possession of any poor creature, they are apt to use it ill; they often torment and treat very roughly young birds, butterflies, and such other poor animals, which fall into their hands, and that with a seeming kind of pleasure. This, I think, should be watched in them; and if they incline to any such cruelty, they should be taught the contrary usage; for the custom of tormenting and killing beasts will, by degrees, harden their minds even towards men; and they who delight in the suffering...

    • 7. No Justice Without Equality
      (pp. 121-123)
      David Hume

      This poetical fiction of the golden age is, in some respects, of a piece with the philosophical fiction of the state of nature; only that the former is represented as the most charming and most peaceable condition, which can possibly be imagined; whereas the latter is painted out as a state of mutual war and violence, attended with the most extreme necessity. On the first origin of mankind, we are told, their ignorance and savage nature were so prevalent, that they could give no mutual trust, but must each depend upon himself and his own force or cunning for protection...

    • 8. Differences do Not Justify Inequality
      (pp. 124-125)
      Humphry Primatt

      I presume there is no Man of feeling, that has any idea of Justice, but would confess upon the principles of reason and common sense, that if he were to be put to unnecessary and unmerited pain by another man, his tormentor would do him an act of injustice; and from a sense of the injustice in his own case, now that He is the sufferer, he must naturally infer, that if he were to put another man of feeling to the same unnecessary and unmerited pain which He now suffers, the injustice in himself to the other would be...

    • 9. Duties to Animals are Indirect
      (pp. 126-127)
      Immanuel Kant

      Baumgarten speaks of duties towards beings which are beneath us and beings which are above us. But so far as animals are concerned, we have no direct duties. Animals are not self-conscious and are there merely as a means to an end. That end is man. We can ask, ‘Why do animals exist?’ But to ask, ‘Why does man exist?’ is a meaningless question. Our duties towards animals are merely indirect duties towards humanity. Animal nature has analogies to human nature, and by doing our duties to animals in respect of manifestations which correspond to manifestations of human nature, we...

    • 10. Animals are Not Constitutional Persons
      (pp. 127-129)
      James Madison

      It is not contended that the number of people in each State ought not to be the standard for regulating the proportion of those who are to represent the people of each State. The establishment of the same rule for the apportionment of taxes will probably be as little contested; though the rule itself, in this case, is by no means founded on the same principle. In the former case, the rule is understood to refer to the personal rights of the people, with which it has a natural and universal connection. In the latter, it has reference to the...

    • 11. The Inalienable Rights of Animals
      (pp. 129-132)
      Herman Daggett

      The design of my appearing in public, at this time, is to say a few things in favour of a certain class of beings, whose rights have seldom been advocated, either from the pulpit, from the stage, or from the press. I mean the inferior animals.

      The cruelty, and injustice, with which this class of beings has been treated, by their boasted superiors of the human race, is too notorious to need a particular recital. In general, their welfare and happiness has been looked upon as a matter of very little importance, in the system; and in our treatment of...

    • 12. All Nature Suffers
      (pp. 132-134)
      William Godwin

      Let us not amuse ourselves with a pompous and delusive survey of the whole, but let us examine parts severally and individually. All nature swarms with life. This may in one view afford an idea of an extensive theatre of pleasure. But unfortunately every animal preys upon his fellow. Every animal however minute, has a curious and subtile structure, rendering him susceptible, as it should seem, of piercing anguish. We cannot move our foot without becoming the means of destruction. The wounds inflicted are of a hundred kinds. These petty animals are capable of palpitating for days in the agonies...

    • 13. Limits to the Rights over Animals
      (pp. 134-135)
      Artur Schopenhauer

      If, however, as a rare exception, we meet a man who possesses a considerable income, but uses very little of it for himself and gives all the rest to the poor, while he denies himself many pleasures and comforts, and we seek to explain the action of this man, we shall find, apart altogether from the dogmas through which he tries to make his action intelligible to his reason, that the simplest general expression and the essential character of his conduct is that he makes less distinction than is usually made between himself and others ...

      ... He sees that...

    • 14. Duty to Minimize Suffering
      (pp. 135-137)
      Jeremy Bentham

      What other agents then are there, which, at the same time that they are under the influence of man’s direction, are susceptible of happiness? They are of two sorts: (1) other human beings who are styled persons, (2) other animals, which on account of their interests having been neglected by the insensibility of the ancient jurists, stand degraded into the class of things.

      (Under the Gentoo and Mahometan religions, the interests of the rest of the animal creation seem to have met with some attention. Why have they not, universally, with as much as those of human creatures, allowance made...

    • 15. Duties to Animals are Direct
      (pp. 138-140)
      John Stuart Mill

      Dr Whewell’s remark, that the approval of our fellow-creatures, presupposing moral ideas, cannot be the foundation of morality, has no application against Bentham, nor against the principle of utility. It may, however, be pertinently remarked, that the moral ideas which this approval presupposes, are no other than those of utility and hurtfulness. There is no great stretch of hypothesis in supposing that in proportion as mankind are aware of the tendencies of actions to produce happiness or misery, they will like and commend the first, abhor and reprobate the second. How these feelings of natural complacency and natural dread and...

    • 16. The Principle of Animal Rights
      (pp. 141-148)
      Henry S. Salt

      Have the lower animals ‘rights?’ Undoubtedly – if men have. That is the point I wish to make evident.

      But have men rights? Let it be stated at the outset that I have no intention of discussing the abstract theory of natural rights, which, at the present time, is looked upon with suspicion and disfavour by many social reformers, since it has not unfrequently been made to cover the most extravagant and contradictory assertions. But though its phraseology is confessedly vague and perilous, there is nevertheless a solid truth underlying it – a truth which has always been clearly apprehended by the...

    • 17. Pity for Animals
      (pp. 148-152)
      Friedrich Nietzsche

      The deeper minds of all ages have had pity for animals, because they suffer from life and have not the power to turn the sting of the suffering against themselves, and understand their being metaphysically. The sight of blind suffering is the spring of the deepest emotion. And in many quarters of the earth men have supposed that the souls of the guilty have entered into beasts, and that the blind suffering which at first sight calls for such pity has a clear meaning and purpose to the divine justice – of punishment and atonement: and a heavy punishment it is,...

    • 18. Duties to Life
      (pp. 152-154)
      Albert Schweitzer

      With Descartes, philosophy starts from the dogma: ‘I think therefore I exist.’ With this paltry, arbitrarily chosen beginning it is landed irretrievably on the road to the abstract. It never finds the right approach to ethics, and remains entangled in a dead world- and life-view. True philosophy must start from the most immediate and comprehensive fact of consciousness, which says: ‘I am life which wills to live, in the midst of life which wills to live.’ This is not an ingenious dogmatic formula. Day by day, hour by hour, I live and move in it. At every moment of reflection...

    • 19. Outside the Scope of the Theory of Justice
      (pp. 154-156)
      John Rawls

      I now turn to the basis of equality, the features of human beings in virtue of which they are to be treated in accordance with the principles of justice. Our conduct toward animals is not regulated by these principles, or so it is generally believed. On what grounds then do we distinguish between mankind and other living things and regard the constraints of justice as holding only in our relations to human persons? We must examine what determines the range of application of conceptions of justice.

      To clarify our question, we may distinguish three levels where the concept of equality...

    • 20. The Rights of Animals
      (pp. 156-162)
      Brigid Brophy

      Were it announced tomorrow that anyone who fancied it might, without risk of reprisals or recriminations, stand at a fourth-storey window, dangle out of it a length of string with a meal (labelled ‘Free’) on the end, wait till a chance passer-by took a bite and then, having entangled his cheek or gullet on a hook hidden in the food, haul him up to the fourth floor and there batter him to death with a knobkerry, I do not think there would be many takers.

      Most sane adults would, I imagine, sicken at the mere thought. Yet sane adults do...

    • 21. All Animals are Equal
      (pp. 162-167)
      Peter Singer

      In recent years a number of oppressed groups have campaigned vigorously for equality. The classic instance is the Black Liberation movement, which demands an end to the prejudice and discrimination that has made blacks second-class citizens. The immediate appeal of the black liberation movement and its initial, if limited, success made it a model for other oppressed groups to follow. We became familiar with liberation movements for Spanish-Americans, gay people, and a variety of other minorities. When a majority group – women – began their campaign, some thought we had come to the end of the road. Discrimination on the basis of...

    • 22. Constraints and Animals
      (pp. 167-173)
      Robert Nozick

      We can illuminate the status and implications of moral side constraints by considering living beings for whom such stringent side constraints (or any at all) usually are not considered appropriate: namely, non-human animals. Are there any limits to what we may do to animals? Have animals the moral status of mere objects? Do some purposes fail to entitle us to impose great costs on animals? What entitles us to use them at all? Animals count for something. Some higher animals, at least, ought to be given some weight in people’s deliberations about what to do. It is difficult to prove...

    • 23. The Feminist Challenge
      (pp. 174-176)
      Lynda Birke

      One of the significant changes accompanying the scientific revolution was ... the categorisation of nature in terms of mechanism; nature was to be understood, for many eighteenth-century writers, in terms of machine analogies. As the scientific revolution progressed, the view of nature as dead inert matter - mere mechanism - become dominant over the view that humans could coexist harmoniously with other forms of life. For animals this meant that, being part of nature, they were consigned to the category of machines. What distinguished humanity from the rest of brute creation was the possession of a soul. This dualism did...

    • 24. The Struggle for Animal Rights
      (pp. 176-186)
      Tom Regan

      I regard myself as an advocate of animal rights - as a part of the animal rights movement. That movement, as I conceive it, is committed to a number of goals, including: the total abolition of the use of animals in science; the total dissolution of commercial animal agriculture; the total elimination of commercial and sport hunting and trapping.

      There are, I know, people who profess to believe in animal rights but do not avow these goals. Factory farming, they say, is wrong - it violates animals’ rights - but traditional animal agriculture is all right. Toxicity tests of cosmetics...

  10. Biographical Notes
    (pp. 187-194)