The Political Animal: The Conquest of Speciesism

Front Cover
McFarland & Company, 1998 - Nature - 147 pages
This book is about one of the most extraordinary phenomena of our times, one which raises fundamental questions about the nature of altruism, about the character of humankind, about a new political agenda and about the relationship of humans with the rest of nature. This phenomenon is the attention paid to the welfare of nonhuman animals and their rights or interests.In the century since Darwin, humankind have clung to the notion that they are entirely different from and morally superior to all other species. This modern idea is in sharp contrast to ancient times when, the evidence shows, early humans respected animals and early religions saw them as divine manifestations.The relationship of humankind to other species is the focus of this work. An historical overview is first presented, crossing many cultures and eras. The ethics of animal exploitation and pain-ism are next covered, followed by an exploration of the science of animal welfare. How the political debate over animal welfare has developed and its potential for changing politicians' attitudes and behavior are the subjects of the concluding chapter.

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