Animal Rights and the Politics of Literary Representation by John Simons

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By John Simons

This booklet addresses the query of animal rights within the context of literary feedback. operating from a dedicated place it asks what literary experiences could appear like if animal rights have been taken heavily. It deals severe surveys of the most issues within the heritage of animal rights and a few of the extra very important modern positions including readings of quite a lot of literary texts from classical antiquity via to the current day.

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Extra resources for Animal Rights and the Politics of Literary Representation

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In the years since the book first appeared the AngloAmerican polity has seen major changes in its attitudes towards animals. Vegetarianism is no longer an eccentricity. The giant supermarket and pharmaceutical chains have embraced the market benefits of an ethical policy towards the animal testing of products. Organic and free-range foods are available in every shop and advertised on television. Ecology and environmental consciousness, and in this sense a concern for animals should be considered as closely related to these fields, are high on the political agenda.

In this regard, Clark’s thinking forms part of an holistic account of the relationship between man and nature and the necessity of concern for animals as part of the critical need to care for the environment. 41 The Animal in Some Contemporary Thought 33 It is thus necessary to seek to understand animal rights not merely as a function of a more generalised debate on the nature of rights and the ways in which an understanding of this debate might help more generally to liberate mankind. It is also important to see the whole of creation as an interlocking mesh of moral values and individual claims in which no group can claim an absolute moral primacy.

The question of diet is central to that of animal rights as the consumption of the dead bodies of creatures who have been killed solely for our nourishment is the ultimate and highest expression of the speciesist stance and, therefore, Singer correctly draws direct and primary attention to it in his account of speciesism. The distinction between animal liberation and animal welfare is also an important one to which I will return later. Lastly, we are reminded of the interesting distinctions that we commonly make between different kinds of animals, cats and dogs, for example, versus pigs and rats.

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