Animal Rights and the Politics of Literary Representation by J. Simons

By J. Simons

This ebook addresses the query of animal rights within the context of literary feedback. operating from a devoted place, it asks the query, 'What may literary reviews seem like if we took animal rights seriously?' It bargains serious surveys of the most topics within the background of animal rights and a few of the extra very important modern positions including readings of a variety of literary texts from classical antiquity to the current day.

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Extra resources for Animal Rights and the Politics of Literary Representation

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She points out, for example, that someone defending himself or herself against a bear is in a very different position from someone who coolly takes aim with a high velocity rifle and kills a bear simply for fun. So she does not deny that there are genuine cases of competition. Individuals have the right to do their best to survive and this may, of necessity, lead to inter-species conflict. She correctly points out, by the way, that vegetarianism, a central facet of Singer’s and Regan’s positions, is, in these terms, greatly in the interests of humans who are struggling to maximise the nutritional capacity of the planet.

For Midgley, then, an animal is an end in itself and cannot be appropriated for the use of humans. This thesis underlies Animals and Why They Matter, although it is not argued there at the same length. The book is written, in Midgley’s own words, for the general reader and, as such, it lacks the philosophical technicality of Man and Beast. But, in a way, this only goes to show how arguments which seem difficult to the academically trained mind are self-evident in other situations. Midgely proceeds by posing a number of questions which are rooted in well-known ethical and political debates.

Here they show very clearly how Darwin’s insistence on the primacy of an emotional life for animals, analogous to that of humans, and having a clear evolutionary function, has been, since the days of scientists such Claude Bernard (who was so mad that he vivisected the family dog on the kitchen table – much to the detriment of his marriage), progressively censored out of academic discourse in order to justify pointless and cruel experimentation. As James Rachels points out: We kill animals for food; we use them as experimental subjects in laboratories; we exploit them as sources of raw materials such as leather and wool; we keep them as work animals.

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