By Tracy Brighten
How we justify cultural traditions that exploit animals and why that needs to change
Cultural traditions are passed on through generations, perpetuating our use of animals for food and pleasure. In upholding religious festivals and food practices, medicinal ‘cures’, and superstitious beliefs, animal abuse continues without question. We can be reluctant to let go of cultural traditions, seeing change as a rejection of our culture, or even an attack on our identity. Continue reading
Animals feel pain and suffering, so why do we deny them equal consideration, placing human preferences above compassion?
Calf in a veal crate
Philosopher Peter Singer criticises philosophy for failing to challenge accepted beliefs. He argues for a change in traditional Western ethics, which is human-centred or anthropocentric and which denies any direct moral obligation to the natural environment. In his book All Animals are Equal (1986), Singer calls for a change in attitude that gives animals equality of consideration regardless of any differences in their capabilities compared to humans. He makes a strong case for a shake-up in our cultural thinking. Continue reading