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Our treatment of animals is stalling human progress

JACY REESE: ‘In Steven Pinker’s new book, Enlightenment Now, the Harvard professor catalogs reams of data to show that the world has actually gotten much better over time, despite what you hear on the news… But the question remains whether Pinker’s seemingly exhaustive treatment is neglecting some entire category of negative trends, such as the experiences of nonhuman animals who share this planet with us… Unfortunately, their current situation is unimaginable suffering.

Over 99% of animals raised for food in the US currently live in factory farms (over 90% globally), many of them enduring horrific conditions like intense confinement in tiny cages so small they can barely turn around. The number of these animals has vastly increased over the past century. It’s even increased over the past decade, mainly due to rising incomes and trends of Westernization in countries like China and India…

Given the abundant neuroscientific and behavioral evidence of these animals’ sentience, not to mention the environmental devastation and public health harms caused by animal farming, does this issue undercut the upward trend documented by Pinker? I think the answer is yes… My fear is instead that our values will stagnate, leaving the smallest and strangest sentient creatures stranded outside our moral circle’. SOURCE…


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