Animal cruelty and human dignity

26 Jun, 2018 at 17:09 | Posted in Politics & Society | 1 Comment

 

pid_1103Throughout European history the idea of the human being has been expressed in contradistinction to the animal. The latter’s lack of reason is the proof of human dignity. So insistently and unanimously has this antithesis been recited … that few other ideas are so fundamental to Western anthropology. The antithesis is acknowledged even today. The behaviorists only appear to have forgotten it. That they apply to human beings the same formulae and results which they wring without restraint from defenseless animals in their abominable physiological laboratories, proclaims the difference in especially subtle way. The conclusion they draw from the mutilated animal bodies applies, not to animals in freedom, but to human beings today. By mistreating animals they announce that they, and only they in the whole of creation, function voluntarily in the same mechanical, blind, automatic way the twitching movements of the bound victims made use of by the expert …

In this world liberated from appearance — in which human beings, having forfeited reflection, have become once more the cleverest animals, which subjugate the rest of the universe when they happen not to be tear­ing themselves apart — to show concern for animals is considered no longer merely sentimental but​ a betrayal of progress.

1 Comment

  1. “By mistreating animals they announce that they, and only they in the whole of creation, function voluntarily in the same mechanical, blind, automatic way the twitching movements of the bound victims made use of by the expert”
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    Yes, I agree with Adorno (and Horkheimer) on this.
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    Researchers should focus on learning how to communicate with animals first. Scientists, ethically, should get informed consent from animal subjects as from humans. Start by allowing mice to choose to leave the lab. If the mouse voluntarily stays, you can guess he consents. Cows should be given an opportunity to avoid the slaughterhouse. Some cows might consent to let you eat them. Otherwise, it is morally wrong to take their lives.


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