" I do want to emphasize that I don’t think eating ethically, particularly from a utilitarian point of view, is a matter of saying, “Here’s this strict law that I have to do everything possible comply with.” I think we can be ethically conscientious and recognize that sometimes there are going to be compromises. Sometimes it’s going to be very difficult, very inconvenient, to get the best choice, so we’ll settle for something else. As you were saying before with the steak, there’s a little bit of room for indulgence in all of our lives. I know some people who are vegan in their homes but if they’re going out to a fancy restaurant, they allow themselves the luxury of not being vegan that evening. I don’t see anything really wrong with that. If what they’re doing nine days out of ten is good, I’m not going to criticize them for being less than perfect on the tenth day. Sure, you’ll make mistakes, but don’t flagellate yourself if you do."
We need to promote veganism as a clear moral baseline since all animal exploitation is wrong, and lead as an example with our lives. Be the change we want to see in others. Gary Francione is doing an excellent job and has encouraged thousands of persons to become vegans. His excellent Facebook-page: www.facebook.com/abolitionistapproach
In another group someone posted a link to a speech by Peter Singer speaking about altruism. Many large animal organisations consider Prof. Peter Singer the "father of the animal rights movement" and promote his welfare position. Please consider the following.
Prof. Peter Singer (the so-called "father of the animal rights movement") advocates the bestiality is morally acceptable in some circumstances.
Peter Singer believes the speciesist welfarist notion that the lives of nonhumans are of lesser moral value than the lives of humans.
He is a utilitarian and a "flexible vegan".
Peter Singer believes if someone (human or nonhuman) cannot plan for the future (and in the case of nonhumans does not have an intelligence that is "like us"), they are of lesser moral value, so that means that humans who have had head injuries and who have serious cognitive problems or who are in a coma are lesser. It's also a speciesist position because many nonhuman animals are forward-looking, can plan and do plan, but whether nonhumans are "like us" in their cognition or whether they have similar intelligence to us is irrelevant. All that matters is sentience.
Peter Singer also believes the practice of murdering disabled children in some cultures is ethical and believes that parents should be given the choice to have their disabled babies murdered after they are born.
These are just a few of the issues regarding Singer's work. We should seriously question whether someone with these moral inconsistencies should be taken seriously regarding nonhuman or human rights. Just a thought
How come in a 2007 interview with The Vegan, Singer gave his endorsement for "a world in which people mostly eat plant foods, but occasionally treat themselves to the luxury of free range eggs, or possibly even meat from animals who live good lives under conditions natural for their species, and are then humanely killed on the farm" ?
How come in a 2009 interview, Singer stated these arrogant, speciesist claims: "You could say it's wrong to kill a being whenever a being is sentient or conscious. Then you would have to say it's just as wrong to kill a chicken or mouse as it is to kill you or me. I can't accept that idea. It may be just as wrong, but millions of chickens are killed every day. I can't think of that as a tragedy on the same scale as millions of humans being killed. What is different about humans? Humans are forward-looking beings, and they have hopes and desires for the future. That seems a plausible answer to the question of why it's so tragic when humans die." ?
Singer calls himself a vegetarian and a "flexible vegan". In his May 2006 interview in Mother Jones, he states:
"I don't eat meat. I've been a vegetarian since 1971. I've gradually become increasingly vegan. I am largely vegan but I'm a flexible vegan. I don't go to the supermarket and buy non-vegan stuff for myself. But when I'm traveling or going to other people's places I will be quite happy to eat vegetarian rather than vegan."
Dave Gilson (3 May 2006). "Chew the Right Thing". Mother Jones. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
He hasn’t done any rebuttal in public of any of these statements. Peter Singers public statements in these interviews clearly show his position.
To clarify more how I reason:
1.Although Singer has stated this position at various places in his writings, his interview in The Vegan contains a recent, brief, and clear reiteration of his view:
I do think that there are morally relevant differences between various species, because the cognitive capacities of beings are relevant to, for example, the wrongness of killing them. I think it is worse to kill a self-aware being, that is, a being who is aware of its own existence over time, and is able to have desires for the future, than a being who may be conscious, but is not self-aware and lives in a kind of eternal present. (The Vegan, Autumn 2006)
2. Based on this he justifies the consumption of animal products from an animal with the characteristic that she/he ‘lives in a kind of eternal present.’
3.Peter Singer still doesn’t advocate veganism as a moral baseline. He still justifies the consumption of animal foods from farmed animals and fish. He has never publicly retracted his non-vegan quotes that I referred to above, and claimed that now he thinks that veganism is the moral baseline.
4.Based on this I think as I quoted in my previous comment:
it is either the case that Singer really has not changed his views about animals lacking mental continuity sufficient to give rise to nonhuman personhood, or he thinks that any mental continuity in animals is qualitatively different from humans so that their lives have a lesser moral value and they can be used as replaceable resources if they are “humanely killed.”
5. Based on Peter Singer’s position outlined in #1 and him still advocating that a non-vegan diet, including the consumption of "humanely treated" farmed animals is morally justified, I don’t think it is inaccurate to say that Peter Singer claims that most animals are ‘not self-aware and lives in a kind of eternal present’.
If he believed otherwise, then according to his own philosophy, he would morally object the consumption of farmed animals, milk and eggs from farmed animals, and fish. He doesn’t object the consumption of this if the animals were treated “humanely”.
Peter Singers position remains the same:
"The dinner was a vegetarian/vegan meal - and delicious! There were drinks beforehand and time afterwards to chat to Peter Singer himself. I took this opportunity to ask him something that I wasn’t clear on his position on - would a world in which animals were humanely reared and humanely killed be significantly worse than a world in which everyone was vegan? Some of his writing on personhood seemed to indicate it would be - if a being has a sense of themselves through time, an inner mental life, there is something wrong about frustrating those future ambitions - even if there is no physical pain involved.
His answer somewhat surprised me - essentially, no. I brought up the personhood thing, and he asked if I really thought that cows had that capacity. As far as I can recall, there’s research to suggest they feel secondary emotions, and have best friends (my Googling has been ineffective - if anyone can find the papers I’d love to see them) - so it seems to me somewhat compelling evidence that they have fairly complex mental lives. I like to err on the side of caution though, anyway. I’d always thought that he would think the killing of a being such as a cow or pig would always be wrong in some sense because of personhood - but turns out I’m more radical than him!"