Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

“PETA a Cult” And Other Singer Monkey Research Fallout


I thought it was pretty significant that Peter Singer endorsed research on monkeys, and very invasive research at that--brain experiments. But the American media ignored the story, so I decided to kick up a little dust.

I was quite impressed with Gary Francione, who I interviewed by e-mail. He is a man of principle, integrity, and courage, calling PETA a "cult" and Singer "the leader of the cult." (I have heard stories!) Others who left the animal rights movement have called PETA a cult, but Francione is as solid an animal rightist as it gets, and for him to denigrate PETA in this way, to me, is significant.

My analysis points to the animal rights movement fracturing over ideology and tactics, and Singer's apostasy, I think, will further that process. Here's my conclusion:"...given Singer's prominence, his pro-research statement will surely undermine the general liberationist meme that animal experimentation is useless, as well as cruel, and hence an equivalent evil to the research conducted by Mengele in the concentration camps. Better still, his apostasy should exacerbate the movement's ongoing splintering, a development most earnestly to be wished. After all, the less effective animal-rights/liberation advocacy is, the less likely we will ever perceive human beings as merely another animal in the forest.


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