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RE: [Bioethics] Confessions of a "Speciesist"

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  • Colin J Moore
    Rosemary, if I were put to the ultimate test and had to choose between having a chicken or a human offed I d spare the human. Guess that makes me a proud,
    Message 1 of 3 , May 1, 2003
      Rosemary, if I were put to the ultimate test and had to choose between
      having a chicken or a human offed I'd spare the human. Guess that makes me a
      proud, card-carrying humanis.... er, sorry...speciest. Genes are thicker
      than water, I guess.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Rosemary Amey [mailto:rosemaryamey@...]
      Sent: Thursday, 1 May 2003 3:20 AM
      To: Bioethics@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Bioethics] Confessions of a "Speciesist"

      Earl Appleby wrote:
      > I will be blunt, as Singer is blunt. The idea that the value of the life
      > of an infant or of any human being regardless of the kind and degree of
      > the disabilities he or she may have can be compared on an equal basis to
      > the life of a chicken -- or even deemed inferior -- is obscene.

      Why? Saying comparing people to chickens is obscene does not explain or
      justify your speciesism, it only illustrates it.

      > And while I am touching on family matters, may I simply add that, while
      > PETA may not get it, as the grandson of Nicholas Hausemer, a Luxembourg
      > patriot murdered by the Nazis in the Mauthausen concentration camp, I
      > not only understand but share the disgust that PETA's current campaign
      > comparing the killing of chickens to the Holocaust
      > (http://www.pjstar.com/news/regional/g144950a.html) rightly engenders
      > among not only the families of survivors and victims but among decent
      > men and women everywhere.

      The PETA campaign was created by family members of survivors, and some
      survivors who are not members of PETA have defended it.
      http://masskilling.com/sdujack.html (I will say that I think the campaign is
      poorly done and oversimplifies in its comparison of the Holocaust with
      meat-eating. PETA has a history of angering animal rights advocates as well
      as other people with its poorly thought out campaigns, which often seem
      deliberately designed to offend. PETA cannot be taken to be representative
      of all animal rights activists.)

      While we are touching on family matters, my son's paternal grandfather,
      Bernard Sztybel, was a young Jewish boy in Poland who narrowly escaped the
      Nazis. His son, David Sztybel, Ph.D., has a chapter dealing with the
      similarities and differences between the Holocaust and our society's
      treatment of nonhuman animals in his thesis, Empathy and Rationality in
      Ethics. The thesis is available online at:
      http://sztybel.tripod.com/thesis_menu.html; the chapter on Holocausts is at:
      http://sztybel.tripod.com/5_ch._4.pdf (PDF, requires Adobe Acrobat reader
      which can be downloaded for free here:
      http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html). (Although David
      mentions me in the acknowledgements, he revised the thesis substantially
      since leaving me so I haven't read all of it in its final form.)

      I think an extensive discussion of speciesism is a tad off-topic for this
      list (Gregor?).

      An assertion (or denial) of speciesism is not necessary to affirm the rights
      of disabled people.


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