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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

Although the vaccines for COVID-19 that are presently available are being represented as having no animal ingredients, the blood of many thousands of horseshoe crabs is being used to make sure that the vaccines are free of contamination. Although the crab blood is technically not an ingredient of the vaccine, it might as well be. Horseshoe crabs are not really crabs; they are more closely related to spiders and other arachnids than they are to crabs or lobsters. But horseshoe crabs have a complex nervous system and it is very likely that they are sentient, or subjectively aware and able…


It is often the case that, when a human is mistreated by other humans, the claim is made that the victim was treated “like an animal.”

What is meant by this expression is that the victim has not been treated with any recognition of their moral value. They have been treated exclusively as a means to an end. Their interests have been ignored. They have been treated as a thing.

The problem is that most of us have no problem in treating nonhuman animals as things. Most of participate directly and indirectly in treating animals as things — we use…


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“Thanks for feeling bad because you have to ‘euthanize’ us; how about not killing us for food in the first place?” (photo: Kenneth Schipper-Vera/Unspalsh)

For the past several weeks, news outlets have been telling us repeatedly that, as a result of meat processing plants closing because large numbers of employees have contracted Covid-19, and as a result of supply-chain disruptions for meat, milk, and eggs caused by the virus, many millions of farm animals are having to be “euthanized.” Farmers and industry executives are appearing as daily guests on news shows talking about how heartbroken they are that they have to “euthanize” these animals. The news anchors doing the interviews often treat their guests with a level of sympathy similar to what they show…


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Αντιμετωπίζουμε μια επικείμενη κλιματική καταστροφή. Τα Ηνωμένα Έθνη λένε ότι μας έχουν απομείνει περίπου δώδεκα χρόνια για να αποτρέψουμε αυτήν την καταστροφή.

Δώδεκα χρόνια.

Δεν είναι πολύς χρόνος. Θυμάστε τότε που ο Steve Jobs ανακοίνωσε το iPhone; Αυτό μοιάζει σαν χθες, όμως συνέβη το 2007 — δώδεκα χρόνια πριν. Θυμάστε τότε που η Τζόαν Ρόουλινγκ ανακοίνωσε το τελευταίο μυθιστόρημα του Χάρι Πότερ; Αυτό μοιάζει σαν χθες, αλλά ήταν το 2007 — δώδεκα χρόνια πριν.

Τι πρέπει λοιπόν να κάνουμε δεδομένου ότι έχουμε δώδεκα χρόνια, όταν δώδεκα χρόνια δεν είναι πολύς χρόνος;

Θα μπορούσαμε να στραφούμε στην τεχνολογία και να ελπίζουμε…


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I used to love the autumn.

For a good part of my adult life, I lived in New York City. Although New York has experienced hotter summers in recent years, the reality is that New York summers have always been unpleasant. Garbage strikes and subways cars without air conditioning made them worse, but they were never great. So I always looked forward to the fall and there were very few things I liked more than walking the streets of Greenwich Village, where we lived, on a crisp October night. But it wasn’t just that the weather was cooler. It was…


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If you eat animal products, especially “higher welfare” products approved by the RSPCA, you are not an “animal abuser” — according to RSPCA (source: this essay)

An interesting feature of the animal welfare approach is that it depends on arbitrarily labeling some conduct affecting animals as “abuse” so that the vast majority of people who participate directly in other animal exploitation can feel good about themselves as they eat, wear, and otherwise use animals while condemning the “abuser.”

A recent example of this is found in the new bill pending before Parliament in Britain that will impose “tougher prison sentences for the worst animal abusers” and impose sentences of “up to five years in prison, a significant increase from the current maximum sentence of six months.”…


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Clothing-coordinated activists who stormed an Australian farm take a group photo for Facebook

The Australian state of New South Wales has introduced on-the-spot trespassing charges of $1,000 for each animal activist caught illegally entering private farmland. The penalties follow a series of recent demonstrations and instances of direct action staged by activists at private farms and slaughterhouses. There is apparently consideration of adding jail time and additional fines to the possible punishments. The NSW deputy leader has labeled those who engage in the prohibited activity as “domestic terrorists.”

In targeting farmers, animal activists have gotten it wrong. …


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Credit: Joel Duggan

Anyone who has ever done vegan advocacy has had the experience of explaining rationally why animal exploitation can’t be morally justified, only to have the person with whom they are talking say something like, “Yes, that’s interesting but I just don’t think that it’s wrong to eat animal products,” or “I think you’re being perfectly logical but I just love ice cream and cheese and am going to continue eating them.”

How can this be? How can people reject logical and rational arguments?

The answer is simple: logic and rationality are necessary for moral reasoning. But they are not sufficient…


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Certain secularists, such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens, often referred to as “New Atheists,” are the latest to tell us that we should look to rationality and science to figure out what to think about important moral issues. These New Atheists generally reject the notion that there can be independent moral truths or that actions can be intrinsically wrong; and they reject the notion of absolute moral rules. They maintain that morality informed by spiritual or religious considerations should be rejected.

I want to examine some aspects of this position as a general matter which…


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Helena Lopes on Unspalsh

Emma, a healthy dog, was brought into a shelter in the U.S. State of Virginia on March 8. Her human companion had passed away and there was apparently no one else to care for Emma. Although the shelter could have easily found a new home for Emma, who was a Shih Tzu (of the sort pictured above), they just held her because whoever brought Emma to the shelter did not have the authority to sign her over to the shelter.

So Emma remained at the shelter until March 22, when the executor of the dead woman’s estate came to the…

Gary L. Francione

Gary L. Francione is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of Law at Rutgers University and Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lincoln.

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