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Challenging Ideas On Human-Nohuman Relations

Challenging Ideas On Human-Nohuman Relations

A new pamphlet that discusses the importance of transforming ideas on human-nonhuman relations. 

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My piece begins by addressing the language we commonly use to refer to nonhuman animals. I then go on to state why nonhuman animals are worthy of moral consideration - I point to the capacity to suffer as the characteristic that determines moral worthiness and I explain how our ideas about sentience and suffering have evolved from the Cartesian view that nonhuman animals are ‘merely automatons’. I then go on to discuss anthropocentric thinking not only from the perspective of human-nonhuman relations but also Kropotkin’s writings on the move from a geocentric to a heliocentric view of the solar system and how this affected people’s ways of viewing the importance of the human species in the universe. Finally I address the property status of nonhuman animals and why it will have to be abolished if the capacity of nonhuman animals to suffer is to be given fair consideration. I also compare the struggle of the anti-slavery movement and the nonhuman animal liberation movement looking at how those in power have often dismissed abolitionists as ‘utopian’ and instead adopted the philosophy of welfarism, only improving the welfare conditions of slaves or exploited nonhuman animals when there has been some economic or other benefit to non-slaves or humans.

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