[Vision2020] Animal Rights, Pigs & "Pigs On The Wing
joekc at adelphia.net
Thu Sep 7 18:06:18 PDT 2006
Here is a set of philosophical questions, related to this discussion:
What kinds of things have intrinsic value (that is, a value in and of itself, rather than because of its associations with others): Humans, animals, plants, nature?
What makes it the case that something has intrinsic value? It was mentioned (by Ted, I think -- though it might have just been in passing, so I'm not saying that it is his view) that something has intrinsic value if it has the ability to feel pain. Is this the only kind of quality that matters? What are some other, relevant qualities?
Often philosophers distinguish between persons and non-persons. Is this a relevant distinction? Which is a better way of distinguishing between persons:
a) persons have the ability to reason and non-persons do not, or
b) persons have the capacity to feel pain and non-persons do not?
Are there things (nature, say) which have intrinsic value yet do not even have the ability to feel pain?
What are our moral obligations toward humans? toward persons? toward things with intrinsic value?
---- Ted Moffett <starbliss at gmail.com> wrote:
Megan et. al.
Thanks for your reply...
I couldn't resist the "connection" between discussing animals rights and my
concerns for pigs, and the album "Animals" with "Pigs on the wing." I'm
not sure the album has much directly to do with animals rights, except in
some sort of round about way, like saying the "pigs" in power mentioned in
the lyrics support cruel aspects of the animal food industry (or animal
experimentation, like for cosmetics) for the big profits they can make,
which is probably true.
But when the animal rights subject is broadened to include the right of a
species to exist, and the fact that current human conduct is inducing
extinctions of species at rates likely to increase with dramatic human
induced climate change and other factors, then the subject of how those in
power (pigs on the wing) are approaching environmental and ecological
issues, becomes directly relevant to a broad view of "animal rights." And
thus human rights, given that the world's ecosystems can only take so much
damage or fast human induced change before dramatically impacting human well
being on a mass scale.
Many life forms do need "a shelter from pigs on the wing," including many
abused and oppressed human animals!
On 9/6/06, Megan Prusynski <megan at meganpru.com> wrote:
> Ted, I just wanted to thank you for your long & well-thought out
> response. It's always interesting to hear others' perspectives on animal
> rights issues and you bring up some great points. Ultimately the decision of
> where to draw the line in terms of sentience and what to eat is really up to
> the individual. We gotta eat something! :) It's a difficult line to draw and
> it has always baffled me how some animals are considered ok to eat in our
> culture and some are not. Like the other issues you pointed out, it's a
> slippery slope. I just try my best to educate people about where their food
> comes from so that they can make informed decisions, and this is also a
> large part of PETA's mission.
> Thanks for the Pink Floyd lyrics, too. I have never really studied them
> before but Pink Floyd is one of my favorite bands and the songs you mention
> are indeed pertinent to this discussion.
> I don't have much to add, just wanted to thank you for your insightful
> post. :)
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