Should the animal rights movement devote itself to incremental improvements in the welfare of animals or insist upon a principled view that animal life is inherently valuable and cannot be viewed as less worthy?
GLENN GREENWALD: ‘What ethical or intellectual justifications exist for treating the lives of animals as inherently inferior to human life and thus justifiably exploited and extinguished for human benefit? Should the animal rights movement devote itself to incremental improvements in the welfare of animals, to reduce their suffering on their way to the slaughterhouse, or insist upon a principled consensus that animal life is inherently valuable and thus cannot be viewed as less worthy?
The use of animals for food and sport is ingrained in tradition and culture, though how it manifests varies radically across cultures: some, for instance, find the killing and eating of dogs to be a cause for celebration, while others find it barbaric and grotesque even as those cultures treat equally intelligent and socially complex animal (such as pigs) in a similar manner or worse. Are there rational and coherent lines that can be drawn to explain these discrepancies?
As we learn about the widespread, industrial torture and slaughter of animals that has little to do with the pleasing images of the bucolic family farms we were taught to romanticize (and which are rapidly disappearing as factory farms proliferate), how will we continue to ethically and intellectually justify these industrial practices?’ SOURCE…