A Simple Resolution for the New Year

It is a new year. It is a time to resolve to do better. A simple suggestion: If you are not a vegan yet, get off the fence and stop exploiting nonhumans. If you are vegan, then educate yourself about the relevant moral arguments, as well as the environmental and health benefits, and try to […]

Postmodern Feminism and Animal Welfare: Perfect Together

Recently, there was a debate on the excellent and always lively Vegan Freak Forums between what may generally characterized as “postmodern feminists” and “radical feminists.” Postmodern feminists acknowledge that a woman’s choice to commodify herself sexually may represent an act of empowerment and cannot be assessed in any definitively negative way. These feminists are often […]

A “Bright Spot”?

A Media Release (October 25, 2007) from Animal Rights International (ARI) President Peter Singer announced that ARI has placed billboard-style ads on New York buses for a month. These ads apparently show how battery eggs are produced. In the Release, Singer explains how terrible battery cages are. Singer states: “‘Battery cages are being phased out […]

A Classic of “Moral Schizophrenia”

A central theme of my work for the past decade or so has been the exploration of our cognitive confusion—our “moral schizophrenia”—when it comes to nonhuman animals. Recently, I commented on how entertainer Ellen Degeneres sobbed on her television show about a dog that she adopted and gave away while, at the same time, promoted […]

Adventures in (Ir)Rationality

We humans claim to have some sort of “special” characteristic that justifies our exploitation of nonhumans. One such supposed characteristic is that we are supposedly rational and they supposedly are not. When we consider that it is humans who build nuclear weapons and who destroy the very environment necessary to sustain life, including our lives—just […]

Ellen Degeneres and Iggy the “It”

On October 16, popular U.S. entertainer Ellen DeGeneres told her talk-show audience–and the world–that she adopted a dog, Iggy, in September. She claimed that Iggy did not get along with her cats, so she gave him to her hairdresser, who has two daughters who wanted him. This apparently violated the adoption contract used by the […]

Equality and Similarity to Humans

Paola Cavalieri, co-editor with Peter Singer of The Great Ape Project: Equality Beyond Humanity, wrote an essay about the recent shooting of a chimpanzee, Johnny, a chimpanzee in his 40s, at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, north of London. According to Cavalieri, Johnny was shot because he was described by zookeepers as “‘a bit of a […]

Some Thoughts on Vegan Education

I am going to try to tackle in a preliminary way a subject that generates a fair amount of controversy and about which I get quite a bit of email. The subject, broadly speaking, is how vegans should relate to omnivores given that ethical vegans regard the use of animals as involving serious violations of […]

Still Doubting the Connections?

For many years, I have been making the point that we cannot morally distinguish speciesism from other forms of discrimination, such as racism, sexism, and heterosexism. I am always on the lookout for explicit connections and one came across my desk this week. According to an article called Playing Chicken, Jason Atkins, a former Marine […]

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

These words, written by philosopher George Santayana, seem to resonate with particular relevance these days, as we see a world engulfed in violence. But Santayana also has something important to say to the animal movement. Most of the large new welfarist animal organizations, both in the United States and Great Britain, claim to endorse veganism […]

Some Further Thoughts on Michael Vick

On August 2, I posted a blog essay entitled, A Note About Michael Vick. Vick’s behavior was obviously reprehensible. I wrote the blog because I was tired of hearing Vick criticized by self-righteous people who eat meat, attend rodeos, hunt, or participate in the many forms of animal exploitation that, unlike dog fighting, are accepted […]

Pharmaceutical Products and Animal Ingredients

Although we should all avoid using pharmaceutical products in favor of more natural approaches to health, it may, on occasion, be advisable or even necessary to take a pharmaceutical product. Putting aside other problems with these products, they often are not vegan in that they contain various animal products as “inactive” ingredients. For example, many […]

A Comment on Violence

I am asked frequently about my views on those who advocate violence against animal exploiters. My response is simple: I am violently opposed to violence. I have three reasons for my position. First, in my view, the animal rights position is the ultimate rejection of violence. It is the ultimate affirmation of peace. I see […]

A Note About Michael Vick

There has been an enormous amount of coverage of the alleged dog fighting operation sponsored by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. Vick and three other men were indicted on federal felony charges claiming that Vick had sponsored illegal dog fighting, gambled on dog fights and permitted acts of cruelty against animals on his property. The […]

Is Heterosexism Different?

Since we have launched the new site, I have been receiving dozens of questions every day. Unfortunately, I am not able to answer all of them personally, but I do appreciate your interest in the abolitionist approach. There are, however, some questions that I feel compelled to respond to because they go so directly to […]

Farewell, Satya

When The Animals’ Agenda stopped publishing in 2002, Satya took over as the primary journal of the new welfarist movement, promoting the fantasy that incremental animal welfare reform could provide significant protection to animal interests and pretending that there was no inherent conflict between the abolition and regulationist approaches to animal ethics. And now, Satya […]

The Failure of Anticruelty Laws

We are still hard at work redesigning the Web site. We are very excited about it and we hope that you will like it and find it useful in your abolitionist advocacy. I did, however, want to offer a brief comment this week about a recent legal case that is making the news. In December […]

My Response to Johanna

Last week, I received an email from a person whom I will identify, with her permission, only as Johanna. Johanna wrote, in part: You argue that we ought to put all our time and energy in trying to persuade people to become vegans. I think that is a wonderful idea but what about all of […]

Peter Singer: “Oh my god, these vegans…”

In the ongoing debate between those who promote the abolitionist approach and those who promote the welfarist approach, some of the welfarists claim that they support veganism so there is, in reality, little difference between the two approaches on the matter of eating and using animal products. To the extent that welfarists support veganism, it […]

Vivisection, Part Two: The Moral Justification of Vivisection

In Vivisection, Part One: The “Necessity” of Vivisection, I discussed the problems surrounding the claim that the use of nonhumans in biomedical experiments is, as a factual matter, “necessary” to get data needed for purposes of human health. In this essay, I want to explore briefly the argument that even if animal use is necessary […]