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By J. Simons

This booklet addresses the query of animal rights within the context of literary feedback. operating from a devoted place, it asks the query, 'What might literary experiences seem like if we took animal rights seriously?' It deals serious surveys of the most subject matters within the historical past of animal rights and a few of the extra very important modern positions including readings of quite a lot of literary texts from classical antiquity to the current day.

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The aim of this chapter is merely to set 26 Animal Rights and the Politics of Literary Representation out, for the reader, the main themes of the intellectual debate within which this book is to be placed. My painfully short summary is not a substitute for reading The Case for Animal Rights. The remainder of Regan’s book is concerned with a discussion and examination of the implications of his ‘rights view’. In this section he deals with issues such as, for example, hunting, animals as property and animals in scientific experimentation.

52 From a utilitarian viewpoint the calculus might well begin to favour (as Scruton archly points out) these undeniable social benefits. e. the torture of fish) really worth paying? In my view, this question need not be a matter of utility but one of morality. Scruton claims, perhaps rightly, that no serious angler deliberately hurts a fish – any The Animal in Some Contemporary Thought 37 more than necessary! – and so cannot be the victim of moral condemnation. It is true that there is a difference between wanton cruelty and angling, but that is a human perception: we cannot ask a fish.

G a neural network) which are shared with humans have the same, or nearly the same, function seems to me self-evident. Yet how much of the defence of cruelty to animals through blood sports and vivisection depends precisely on a denial of this issue? We have already seen how Roger Scruton’s defence of angling honestly admits the absurdity of the proposition that fish feel no pain. Equally my allusion to Descartes above leads also to the kind of argument mounted by Masson and McCarthy in When Elephants Weep.

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