Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
Learn about the true meaning of animal rights, including what is and is not rights advocacy and examples of rights advocacy compared to other advocacy: http://www.rpaforall.org/rights.html
From the introduction:
"Animal rights" is almost always used incorrectly by the news industry and most animal organizations and advocates. This hampers animal-rights advocacy by creating confusion about its goal, divergence from rights-promoting strategies, and delusion about what constitutes progress toward animal rights. People have helped animals in countless ways for thousands of years without promoting rights for them. Promoting rights means describing the rights other animals need to lead fulfilling lives, why meaningful protection is impossible without rights, and why human beings as well as other animals will benefit when all have the rights they need.
Thanks for the comments, David and Adriano. I think you have very good points.
I'm not evading anything as I've answered everything to the best of my knowledge and reasoning. It it you who keeps evading the idea of equal consideration for carnivores and other non-herbivores.
Since you're interested in philosophy, let's look at an example. Imagine you're behind John Rawl's "veil of ignorance" (Tom Regan has wrote about this in his work) and don't know what race, sex, species, or other characteristics you would have when you enter the world as a living being. Wouldn't you want to be accorded equal consideration if you happened to be a carnivore or other non-herbivore animal such as a lion, coyote, whale, tuna, penguin, bear, hawk, frog, or lobster? Certainly, you wouldn't want Pearce's genocidal program to be in effect as you'd be on the hit list for extermination.
Brandon, here's another little speech you should not miss:
Zizek dissects the quasi-religious ideology of nature as "balanced" and "harmonious" and praises our full alienation from this "series of mega-catastrophes", which it is. Mother Nature is not our friend, she let's us suffer and die terribly. She's annihilated 99% of the species that she has created up until now.
Pinker is a humanist and as such his views are clouded by anthropocentrism and the ideology of the linear Progress of civilization to be won through the domination of nature. That said, there have been a number of critiques of his facts (including his myth that nomadic foraging societies were violent - anthropology documents the evidence), see the comments here: http://libcom.org/blog/steven-pinker-his-obsessive-misues-anarchy-0... and the radio shows which discuss the book here: http://johnzerzan.net/radio/
You're putting a purpose behind natural processes when there is none. 99.99% of human existence was before civilization in foraging bands that lived in harmony with the natural world. In the last 10,000 years (a minute amount of time) humans have destroyed the life-supporting ecosystems of the biosphere and are threatening the existence of all life, particularly in the last 300 years with the rise of industrial civilization driven by capitalism.
A purpose?! Sometimes I really just despair. I mean, if someone here is declaring nature to be purposeful, good and an end in itself, it's you.
No, not at all. I'm simply saying that we should respect the autonomy of other animals and preserve the natural world for the benefit of all life. Read exactly what I write and interpret it in that spirit rather than trying to spin it through your ideological box of what you think I'm saying.
You wrote: "Since you're interested in philosophy, let's look at an example. Imagine you're behind John Rawl's "veil of ignorance" (Tom Regan has wrote about this in his work) and don't know what race, sex, species, or other characteristics you would have when you enter the world as a living being. Wouldn't you want to be accorded equal consideration if you happened to be a carnivore or other non-herbivore animal such as a lion, coyote, whale, tuna, penguin, bear, hawk, frog, or lobster? Certainly, you wouldn't want Pearce's genocidal program to be in effect as you'd be on the hit list for extermination."
Sure, Pearce's program would be exactly what I'd go for behind the "veil of ignorance"!
One carnivorous animal harms and kills many "prey" animals. Since every individual must be accorded equal consideration, it's the lesser evil if one animal is harmed and killed rather than many animals. So it would be the lesser evil to kill a predator if that's the only way to save many "prey" animals. If you deny this, then you are in fact violating the principle of equal consideration! For you are then saying that the well-being and life of a single animal (the predator) is more important than the well-being and life of many other animals combined.
It follows that behind the "veil of ignorance", I should go for Pearce's project rather than for nature. Because the probability of my being killed by a predator animal would be far greater than the probability of my being killed by Pearce (in order to protect many others that are no less important than me).
What is more, David's project doesn't even require that we harm or kill any animal. There's the possibility of contraception and/or genetic engineering.
I think the problem here is that what looks to me like the starting point for your perspective (nature is good and should be preserved) is the point that others want to debate. They keep challenging that starting point and you keep re-stating it. (Just my two cents.)
I never said nature was "good" or "bad" just that the natural world should be preserved for the benefit of all life. You don't need moral terms (like good/bad, right/wrong) to argue for a particular position, just a desire for that position with reasons for it.
You are violating the principle of equality by persecuting carnivores for their biology. They need to eat other animals to survive and be healthy. It is speciesist to violate their bodies through forcible sterilization because such persecution is based on genetics you don't like, that is the carnivorous species that they happen to be. You are privileging humans and other animals who can subsist off vegetation alone while unjustly oppressing carnivores and other animals who must eat other animals to survive and be healthy. In addition, you are bolstering the power structure of human supremacy by rationalizing the continued domination of all life.
And you are evading the argument. The reason is not that I somehow happen to dislike carnivorous genomes, the reason is that such genetic malware causes the most horrible suffering on a very large scale.
Any law that protects individual rights implies the use of force in case a right is being violated, no matter who the violator is and what the causes are for his behaviour. If you reject this, please stop claiming that you're in favour of individual rights.