Are we others or are we just things? (Photo by Christina Maiia on Unsplash)

“I take my veganism very seriously. I certainly hope that my kids will be vegans. I intended to educate them about the immorality of animal exploitation, and I hope that they will make the right choice. But I cannot impose my beliefs on them, and force them to vegan. I will support whatever choice they make.”

I hear something like this just about whenever I am in a group of vegans. It is a very common sentiment expressed by even the most thoughtful vegans. Joaquin Phoenix, who is clearly a committed vegan, expressed it in a recent interview. This view…

(Credit: The Babylon Bee)

Part 1 of this essay is here.

Our social discourse is peppered with a great many words that reflect various aspects of woke culture. Let’s consider three that appear frequently in discussions about animal ethics and consider examples from that context.

“Mansplaining”: There is no doubt we live in a patriarchal world that is replete with sexism and misogyny. One (of many) manifestations of this is when men simply ignore the perspectives of women or attempt to tell them what their experiences or thoughts are or should be. Another manifestation of this is that a man and woman can say…


Is being sensitive about injustice a good thing?

You bet it is.

Racism, sexism, homophobia — and speciesism — are all around us. We need to be aware of these various forms of discrimination and we ought to reject them. Principle 5 of the Abolitionist Approach to Animal Rights is clear: Abolitionists reject all forms of human discrimination, including racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, and classism — just as they reject speciesism.

Abolitionists reject speciesism because, like racism, sexism, heterosexism, and other forms of human discrimination, it uses a morally irrelevant criterion (species) to discount and devalue the interests of…

U.K. law is finally going to make clear that the what is on the right is different from what is on the left. (source:

The U.K. is proposing to do something that is absolutely revolutionary: it is going to enshrine in law that sentient animals are sentient.

Never mind that, in 1789, Jeremy Bentham argued that the moral significance of animals did not hinge on whether animals had humanlike cognitive attributes but only on whether they are sentient: “the question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”

They can’t breathe properly but many people think they are cute so it’s okay. Photo by Sneaky Elbow on Unsplash

For the past thirty or so years, I have developed what has come to known as the Abolitionist Approach to Animal Rights. One aspect of that theory rejects the status of animals as chattel property and maintains that we are morally obligated to abolish, and not merely regulate, the use of animals exclusively as resources. …

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…

“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…

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…

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…

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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