Re.”An Animal’s Place”

Ryan Sargent

Professor Drown

English 122

September 24, 2018

Killing and Eating Animals is Comparable to Racism

Is killing and eating animals the same as racism and anti-Semitism? Peter Singer, an Australian philosopher now a professor at Princeton, believes that killing and eating animals is a form of racism or speciesism as Singer puts it. Singer is explaining in his piece Animal Libertarian that killing and eating, wearing animal skins, and killing animals for sports is speciesism. In the article Animal Place written by Michael Pollan, an American author, journalist, activist, and Professor of Practice of Non-Fiction at Harvard University, tackles the dilemma of killing animals is comparable to racism.

In Animal Place Pollen at first rejects the notion of killing animals is comparable to racism. He stays open minded and dives right into the morals and ethics of killing animals. Pollen explains that this animal rights movement “has scored some its biggest victories in Europe.” Germany granted animals constitutional rights and in England they banned farming animals for fur and then Switzerland changing their laws from animals being “things to beings”. Pollen brings up points that compare dogs to farm animals like, “Half of dogs in America will receive Christmas presents this year, yet few of us pause to consider the miserable life of the pig – an animal easily as intelligent as a dog – that becomes the Christmas ham.” He use this comparison to trigger a questioning of our morals and how we think of our meals that we eat.

Singer questions “If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans for the same purpose.” When this quote of his came up in “An Animal’s Place” it made me question the comparison between speciesism and racism. At first I, like Pollan, rejected this notion of speciesism as comparable to racism because it seemed radical that he could make the comparison. Then after reading this quote I thought if you changed some of these words around and used white and black it quite literally would be the definition of racism. The only thing that would have to change is that it would be ideology that white people have a higher degree of intelligence than that of blacks. This also made Michael Pollan question his stance. “Humans differ from animals in morally significant ways.” Says Pollan, “which is why we shouldn’t treat pigs and children alike.” Pollan acknowledges that humans and animals differ in intelligence and interests, “children have an interest in being educated; pigs, in rooting around in the dirt.” Pollan says this is speciesism because pigs can have the same intelligence as a young child and yet the rights of a pig do not match with the rights of a young child.

Singer references multiple philosophers the one that stood out to me was Jeremy Bentham. Bentham was a 18th-century utilitarian philosopher, he was known for his animal rights movements. He was writing just after the French colonies freed black slaves. Bentham uses the black slaves being granted freedom as a comparison to animal rights and how the animals deserve the same rights. “The day may come, when the rest of animal creation may acquire those rights.” Beckham was referencing the freed black slaves that just got fundamental rights of being a human. He was questioning the culture around animals and the treatment. This stood out to me because you think about the time he was writing and its impressive that he was having thoughts about animals. I always thought that people weren’t thinking about animal rights in that time period. At the point that he was writing he was light years ahead of his time.

The first thought I was thinking about when I heard of speciesism is you gotta be kidding me another thing brought up by PETA to get people to become vegans and protesting SeaWorld. Then I dove in and it opened my mind to the brutality of the food industry and made me question my moral stance. I then I continued to read Animal Place and Pollan found Polyface Farm and discovered what was missing in the food and meat industry. That was having the animals live and die the way nature wanted them too. They live and eat normally and have a low key life then when it is time for them to die they are slaughter right there in the field that they grew and lived. This was the pivotal point for me to not become a vegan or a vegetarian. I felt that I wouldn’t feel bad for the animal because it lived a good happy life. Pollan writes about how Singer responds when asked about Poly Faced Farm, “‘However, he added this line of thinking doesn’t obviate the wrongness of killing and animal that “has a sense of its own exitance over time and can have preferences for its own future’” He basically said its okay to eat meats form these places. Singer agrees with that kind of farming should be more prominent and abundant in farming. However, Singer still won’t say killing animals and eating them is right. Singer adds that “I would not be sufficiently confident of my arguments to condemn someone who purchased meat from one of these farms.” These conversation between Peter Singer and Michael Pollan made me think and made me question my morals but in the end the animals at Poly Face Farm lived. Even though this way of killing the animal is better it doesn’t changed the fact of killing.

Coming from Vermont, a large farming area, I have been to multiple farms and all of them were milk farms and they would wonder around the pastures and eat then be milked. I never thought about how the meat from these animals ended up on my table. Reading An Animal Place made me rethink about how I look at food. I will now be paying more attention to where my food comes from and the treatment of those beings.

 

Work Cited

Pollan, Michael. “An Animals Place.” New York Times Magazine, 10 November 2002, https://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/10/magazine/an-animal-s-place.html. Accessed 10 September 2018.

Sep. 21

Ryan Sargent

 

Is killing and eating animals the same as racism and anti-Semitism? Peter Singer, an Australian philosopher now a professor at Princeton, believes that killing and eating animals is a form of racism or speciesism as Singer puts it. Singer is explaining in his piece Animal Libertarian that killing and eating, wearing animal skins, and killing animals for sports is speciesism. In the article Animal Place written by Michael Pollan, an American author, journalist, activist, and Professor of Practice of Non-Fiction at Harvard University, tackles the dilemma of killing animals is comparable to racism.

In Animal Place Pollen at first rejects the notion of killing animals is comparable to racism. He stays open minded and dives right into the morals and ethics of killing animals. Pollen explains that this animal rights movement “has scored some its biggest victories in Europe.” Germany granted animals constitutional rights and in England they banned farming animals for fur and then Switzerland changing their laws from animals being “things to beings”. Pollen brings up points that compare dogs to farm animals like, “Half of dogs in America will receive Christmas presents this year, yet few of us pause to consider the miserable life of the pig – an animal easily as intelligent as a dog – that becomes the Christmas ham.” He use this comparison to trigger a questioning of our morals and how we think of our meals that we eat.

Singer questions “If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans for the same purpose.” When is quote of his come up in Animal Place it made me question if I was thinking about the this comparison speciesism and racism. I thought if you changed some of these words around and used white and black it quite literally would be the definition of racism. The only thing that would have to change is that it would be ideology that white people have a higher degree of intelligence. This also made Michael Pollan question his stance. “Humans differ from animals in morally significant ways.” Says Pollan, “which is why we shouldn’t treat pigs and children alike.” Pollan acknowledges that humans and animals differ in intelligence and interests, “children have an interest in being educated; pigs, in rooting around in the dirt” Pollan this is speciesism because pigs can have the same intelligence as a young child and yet the rights of a pig do not match with the rights of a young child.

Singer references multiple philosophers the one that stood out to me was Jeremy Bentham. Bentham was a 18th-century utilitarian philosopher, he was known for his animal rights movements. He was writing just after the French colonies freed black slaves. Bentham uses the black slaves being granted freedom as a comparison to animal rights and how the animals deserve the same rights. “The day may come, when the rest of animal creation may acquire those rights.” Beckham was referencing the freed black slaves that just got fundamental rights of being a human. He was questioning the culture around animals and the treatment. This stood out to me because you think about the time he was writing and its impressive that he was having thoughts about animals. I always thought that people weren’t thinking about animal rights in that time period. At the point that he was writing he was light years ahead of his time.

The first thought I was thinking about when I heard of speciesism is you gotta be kidding me another thing brought up by PETA to get people to become vegans and protesting SeaWorld. Then I dove in and it opened my mind to the brutality of the food industry and made me question my moral stance. I then I continued to read Animal Place and Pollan found Polyface Farm and discovered what was missing in the food and meat industry. That was having the animals live and die the way nature wanted them too. They live and eat normally and have a low key life then when it is time for them to die they are slaughter right there in the field that they grew and lived. This was the pivotal point for me to not become a vegan or a vegetarian. I felt that I wouldn’t feel bad for the animal because it lived a good happy life. Pollan writes about how Singer responds when asked about Poly Faced Farm, “‘However, he added this line of thinking doesn’t obviate the wrongness of killing and animal that “has a sense of its own exitance over time and can have preferences for its own future’” He basically said its okay to eat meats form these places. Singer agrees with that kind of farming should be more prominent and abundant in farming. However, Singer still won’t say killing animals and eating them is right. Singer adds that “I would not be sufficiently confident of my arguments to condemn someone who purchased meat from one of these farms.” These conversation between Peter Singer and Michael Pollan made me think and made me question my morals but in the end the animals at Poly Face Farm lived. Even though this way of killing the animal is better it doesn’t changed the fact of killing.

Coming from Vermont, a large farming area, I have been to multiple farms and all of them were milk farms and they would wonder around the pastures and eat then be milked. I never thought about how the meat from these animals ended up on my table. Reading An Animal Place made me rethink about how I look at food. I will now be paying more attention to where my food comes from and the treatment of those beings.

 

English 122 Essay- Due 9/17

Ryan Sargent

 

Is killing and eating animals the same as racism and anti-Semitism? Peter Singer, an Australian philosopher now a professor at Princeton, believes that killing and eating animals is a form of racism or speciesism as Singer puts it. Singer is explaining in his piece Animal Libertarian that killing and eating, wearing animal skins, and killing animals for sports is speciesism. In the article Animal Place written by Michael Pollan, an American author, journalist, activist, and Professor of Practice of Non-Fiction at Harvard University, tackles the dilemma of killing animals is comparable to racism.

In Animal Place Pollen immediately rejects the notion of killing animals is comparable to racism. He stays open minded and dives right into the morals and ethics of killing animals. Pollen explains that this animal rights movement “has scored some its biggest victories in Europe.” Germany granted animals constitutional rights and in England they banned farming animals for fur and then Switzerland changing their laws from animals being “things to beings”. Pollen brings up points that compare dogs to farm animals like, “Half of dogs in America will receive Christmas presents this year, yet few of us pause to consider the miserable life of the pig – an animal easily as intelligent as a dog – that becomes the Christmas ham.” He use this comparison to trigger a questioning of our morals and how we think of our meals that we eat.

Singer questions “If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one humans to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans for the same purpose.” When is quote of his come up in Animal place it made me question if I was thinking about the way I was thinking about this thing of speciesism. I thought if you changed some of these words around and used white and black it quite literally would be the definition of racism. The only thing that would have to change is that it would be ideology that white people have a higher degree of intelligence. This also made Michael Pollan question his stance. “Humans differ from animals in morally significant ways.” Says Pollan, “which is why we shouldn’t treat pigs and children alike.” Pollan acknowledges that humans and animals differ in intelligence and interests, “children have an interest in being educated; pigs, in rooting around in the dirt”

Singer references multiple philosophers the one that stood out to me was Jeremy Bentham. Bentham was a 18th-century utilitarian philosopher, he was known for his animal rights movements. He was writing just after the French colonies freed black slaves. “The day may come, when the rest of animal creation may acquire those rights.” Beckham was referencing the freed black slaves that just got fundamental rights of being a human. He was questioning the culture around animals and the treatment. This stood out to me because you think about the time he was writing and its impressive that he was having thoughts about animals. I always thought that people weren’t thinking about animal rights in that time period. At the point that he was writing he was light years ahead of his time.

The first thought I was thinking about when I heard of speciesism is you gotta be kidding me another thing brought up by PETA to get people to become vegans and protesting SeaWorld. Then I dove in and it opened my mind to the brutality of the food industry and made me question my moral stance. I then I continued to read Animal Place and Pollan found Polyface Farm and discovered what was missing in the food and meat industry. That was having the animals live and die the way nature wanted them too. They live and eat normally and have a low key life then when it is time for them to die they are slaughter right there in the field that they grew and lived. This was the pivotal point for me to not become a vegan or a vegetarian. I felt that I wouldn’t feel bad for the animal because it lived a good happy life. Singer agrees with that kind of farming. Pollan writes about how Singer responds when asked about poly faced farm, “‘However, he added this line of thinking doesn’t obviate the wrongness of killing and animal that “has a sense of its own exitance over time and can have preferences for its own future’” He basically said its okay to eat meats form these places.