Gary Francione on the Abolitionist Approach

Gary FrancioneOn his blog Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach, Gary Francione, most recently the author of The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation, writes a series of commentaries/podcasts.

In the most recent installment, “The Animal Rights Debate,” the Abolitionist Approach Discussion Forum, and a Response to Nicolette Hahn Niman, Francione discusses among other issues Niman’s recent article in The Atlantic, Dogs Aren’t Dinner: The Flaws in an Argument for Veganism. In the article, Niman justifies the eating of certain kinds of animals, killed under certain conditions. Francione challenges Niman, arguing:

Ms. Niman denies that we suffer from moral schizophrenia when we treat some animals as members of our families but stick forks into others. Her analysis, in a nutshell, is that, as a cultural matter, we have a different relationship with dogs than we do pigs.

That is precisely the problem: as a cultural matter, we treat some sentient nonhumans as things and some as persons. But cultural norms cannot serve as any sort of justification of cultural norms! If they could, then racism, sexism, and all sorts of discrimination and human rights violations would be justified.

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