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Animals in the Public Arena

In March I spoke at a conference organised by Critical Perspectives on Animals in Society at the University of Exeter. I shared the platform with Lee McConnell from Northumbria University School of Law. Here’s a video of the session, which was chaired by author Mark Gold. Click here for a copy of my paper ‘Animal Rights: Moral Crusade or Political Movement?

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  1. May 3rd, 2012 at 12:03 | #1

    I like your straightforward style of presenting these daunting issues of complexity, Kim. Your belief in human potential to evolve ethically however exceeds my own these days.

    I laterally work part-time for a national removal firm alongside very ‘down to earth’ blokes who usually have a high regard for animals (apart from cats, time and again!) and one or two are veritable ‘animal lovers.’ None would work in an abattoir for 5 minutes (although with more thugs born or bred each year that task will always be conducted by proxy) and my veggie diet is very much perceived as a distant ‘Da Vincian’ persuasion albeit with a certain respect for being prepared to ‘break from the herd’ on an everyday matter of principle.

    However, all in all, I don’t get the impression that speciesism could be considered akin to other types of discrimination; more a hangover from our brutal primeval disposition in the sense that Henry Salt regarded society as reliant on sanitized savagery.

    Would there be a ‘critical mass’ of meat-eaters up in arms at legislation to remove bacon, hamburgers etc from their menu for more than a couple of days per week?

    I’m afraid I tend to think so.

    As an aside, I was a bit amused by some of the latecomers strolling past you Kim: my history teacher in the 80s once recounted A.J. P. Taylor telling him to get out of his lecture – in front of a hundred or so students – after arriving 5 minutes late, so maybe society does change in some ways!!!

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