Adding heft to my article published two days ago in the NRO, is this article published in The Guardian. I believe that the writer, Richard Ryder, is a mentor of Peter Singer. He coined “speciesism,” which is discrimination against animals, deemed by liberationists (and many bioethicists) to be as odious as racism. The idea here is that feeling pain is what grants to an organism equal rights.
Pursuing this line, Ryder calls for UN action to bring animals into moral and legal equality with people. He claims that human/animal moral equality is required by Darwinist thinking because animals are our genetic relatives. Darwinism isn’t my field. But wouldn’t this be contrary to Darwinism since we would be acting against our own interests as a species by accepting this dubious advice?
It certainly would be to destroy the belief in human exceptionalism, which of course, is the point. But this is a very dangerous course. Being exceptional in the known universe not only gives humans special rights but also special obligations and duties, including the need to care for each other, the environment, and to never gratuitously cause animals to suffer. But if we are not special, why should we take on the burdens that come with the status? Or, to put it another way, once we see ourselves merely as another animal in the forest, that is precisely how we will act.
I am coming to believe that with the exception of the jihad, animal rights/liberation is one of the most subversive threats to human welfare and human rights in the present day.