Vivisection is the practice of torturing and killing innocent lives, allegedly in the name of altruism and compassion. This is why it has been criticized as far back as Shakespeare, formed the inspiration for Frankenstein, and why the likes of Mark Twain, Leo Tolstoy, and Gandhi were opposed to it strictly on moral grounds. Intuitively we know that if you seek to help someone, torturing innocent bystanders is morally perverse, like saving a village by destroying it.
Extending ethical regard and rights to nonhuman life.
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Abstract Summary version Essay: The Anti-Human Supremacy Animal Rights Argument Notes Abstract This essay is intended to offer a stronger alternative argument in accessible language for extending ethical regard and rights to nonhuman life forms than the "speciesism equals racism" and sentience/suffering criteria approach that is widely used in the animal rights debate. It is an examination of what secular and spiritual beliefs motivate human discrimination against non humans, and the arguments employed to defend it.
This page is presently in construction. This is the comprehensive ARVEG FAQ produced by KG which covers just about every imaginable attack against animal rights and vegan stances. It provides factual, effective and occasionally amusing responses provided. (Some additions and modifications have been made from the earlier version and the original due to broken 20+ yr links as well as new material.) In the TOC, "->" indicates there is more to the question than could be fitted and can be viewed by clicking on the link.
No one is perfect. Everyone is open to criticism. Any individual or group can be examined and criticized where appropriate and fair. The misery and death perpetrated against nonhuman animals is an unfathomable catastrophic hell, and one should seek to improve the lives of victims whenever possible while pursuing an end to the practices. This is what we would do with a human rights situation and nonhumans deserve no less.
Human Exceptionalism is the latest term to buzz around to describe the phenomenon of human supremacy. It is a clever term I would say, as it doesn't have the bigot aura that supremacist carries. But in essence it means the same thing even if its users deny it. Exceptionalism suggests uniqueness. Many animal righton arguments seek to downplay human uniqueness and trivialize it in order to boost the moral position of nonhumans.
Nathan Winograd Hates Peta So Much He Loves Vivisectors and the Meat Industry Among the conflicts between animal righton and animal welfare is the issue of euthanasia. Nonhuman animals are killed by the millions in shelters every year. Although this is called mercy killing in some cases, or a necessary evil, the means of execution can be far removed from anyone's concept of compassion. Often the "right to life" is not even considered applicable when it comes to non humans, the main dispute is the method in which the killing is carried out and how to deal with the failure to apply proper care and diligence in doing so.
The basic animal righton position is that moral regard should not be based on any characteristic alleged to be uniquely human but instead be a general compassion principle using sentience - a basic interest in living, avoiding pain, maximizing pleasure - as the standard by which we determine the moral worth of others. This effort to extend moral concern beyond humans rests upon the other person sharing the same sense of compassion and agreeing that the uniquely human traits (real or imagined) that are often considered praise-worthy are in fact insignificant when compared to this alternative criteria.
The foundation of the ethical arguments used to defend vivisection, the meat industry, and other forms of exploitation protested by animal righton campaigners is the belief in human supremacy. It is generally taken for granted by both sides of the issue and left unchallenged. Advocates would discover they can make a stronger case if they relied less on the three S words (suffering, sentience and speciesism), and more on common sense, clear language and a frontal assault on human pride.
All arguments are not created equal. There are differences in their intent and the degree to which they impact an audience's psyche. If you wish to make the strongest case for justice and respect towards nonhuman beings, then destroying human arrogance is crucial and human nature is your greatest ally in the cause. Why is it acceptable to routinely treat nonhumans in ways that would be considered atrocities if done to the most hated criminals?