Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

Review of Gary L. Francione's Animals as Persons

Tony Milligan

Introduction: This collection brings together some of Gary Francione’s best known and most controversial essays stretching back over the past two decades. The gist of Francione’s position is that we need to advance beyond the defenses of animals that were set out by Peter Singer and Tom Regan more than 30 years ago. However, Francione gives us a peculiar mix of the novel and the traditional. Unlike Singer and Regan, he is traditional in his unhesitating committing to sentientism, to the view that “Sentience is necessary to have interests at all” (p.11). This is controversial given that it drives apart the moral concern associated with animal liberation and the kinds of concern associated with eco-activism in the interests of the non-sentient (e.g., ecosystems, trees and so on). But Francione is comparatively untraditional is rejecting the view that a defense of animals requires us to show that their ways of thinking are closely akin to our ways of thinking. (A theme pursued in the essay on “Taking Sentience Seriously.”)

Please click this link to view and read the .pdf: Review of Gary L. Francione's Animals as Persons

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Prof. Milligan writes: "...it is extremely difficult to sustain the view that no welfare changes can ever be linked to the promotion of a greater legal (or wider) recognition of the intrinsic value of animals. I have, I confess, in the course of looking over this collection of essays, entirely given up reading Francione as an effective defender of this thesis. Perhaps it can be defended in some significantly different way, but I have reservations about even this. (I do not know what a convincing defense of the thesis would look like.)"  I agree.

Yup!

I think that's an interesting excerpt. Here's the full quote: 

This being the case, it is extremely difficult to sustain the  view that no welfare changes can ever be linked to the promotion of a greater legal (or wider) recognition of the intrinsic  value of animals. I have, I confess, in the course of looking over  this collection of essays, entirely given up reading Francione as  an effective defender of this thesis. Perhaps it can be defended in some significantly different way, but I have reservations  about even this. (I do not know what a convincing defense of  the thesis would look like.) Nonetheless, what Francione does  marvelously well, is to direct the reader’s attention to the genuine dangers of regarding animals as property and to the need  for a strategy to move things forward beyond this degrading  subordination. In some way that I cannot quite fathom he also  does this better than almost any other author that I know. This  is not, of course, praise of a sort that Francione will want, but  neither is it faint or damning.

I think I agree with the full quote. 





Tim Gier said:

Prof. Milligan writes: "...it is extremely difficult to sustain the view that no welfare changes can ever be linked to the promotion of a greater legal (or wider) recognition of the intrinsic value of animals. I have, I confess, in the course of looking over this collection of essays, entirely given up reading Francione as an effective defender of this thesis. Perhaps it can be defended in some significantly different way, but I have reservations about even this. (I do not know what a convincing defense of the thesis would look like.)"  I agree.

I agree with Carolyn

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