The pig will not make a revolution. Manifesto of Vulnerable Antispeciesism

A deep interest in philosophy is concentrated on the topic of antispeciesism, the ethics of the animalist, the relationship between man and animal. Leonardo Caffo has published several books on the subject, in particular: A Manifesto of Vulnerable Antispeciesism. A pig will not make a revolution” 2013, “Animal Nature Today” 2013, “The Limit of Humanity” 2014, “Constructivism and Naturalism in Metaethics” 2014. He also works on theatrical productions. In his works, Leonardo Caffo offers readers a completely new look at the theory of antispeciesism, a new look at the relationship between man and animal, which cannot leave you indifferent.

The pig will not make a revolution. A Manifesto of Vulnerable Anti-Speciesism (excerpts from the book)

“Animals, born with nothing but the misfortune of not being human, live terrible lives, short and miserable. Only because it is in our power to use their lives for our benefit. Animals are eaten, used in research, made into clothes, and if you’re lucky, they’ll be locked up in a zoo or circus. Whoever lives ignoring this should be happy thinking that the worst of the world’s ills have been overcome to date and that our life is entirely moral. To understand that all this pain exists, you need to write not from the point of view of animal advocates, but from the point of view of the animal.

The question that runs through this book is this: what would a pig say if it had the opportunity to chart the path of a revolution aimed at its liberation, the liberation of all animals? 

The purpose of the book is that after reading, there is no longer any difference between you and the pig.

Speaking of former philosophies, we remember, first of all, Peter Singer and Tom Regan. But there are flaws in their theories. 

Peter Singer and Animal Liberation.

Peter Singer’s theory is a manifesto of pain. A scrupulous narrative of the agony of animals slaughtered in slaughterhouses. At the center of Peter Singer’s theory is Pain. In this case, we are talking about Feeling-centrism. And since both animals and people feel pain in the same way, then, according to Singer, the responsibility for causing pain should be the same. 

However, the project proposed by André Ford debunks Singer’s theory.

Andre Ford developed a project to mass-produce chickens without the part of the cerebral cortex responsible for feeling pain. The project will allow raising up to 11 chickens per m3 instead of 3. Huge farms where thousands of chickens are placed in vertical frames like in the Matrix. Food, water and air are supplied through tubes, the chickens have no legs. And all this is created for two reasons, the first is to meet the increasing demand for meat and the second is to improve the well-being of the life of chickens on farms, by eliminating the feeling of pain. This experience shows the failure of Singer’s theory. The exclusion of pain still does not give the right to kill. Therefore, this cannot be a starting point in the issue of animal welfare.

Tom Regan.

Tom Regan is another pillar of the Animal Rights philosophy. The inspiration behind the Animal Rights Movement. 

Their main struggles are: ending the use of animals in scientific experiments, ending the artificial breeding of animals, the use of animals for recreational purposes, and hunting.

But unlike Singer, his philosophy is based on the fact that all living beings have equal rights, and in particular: the right to life, freedom and non-violence. According to Regan, all mammals endowed with intelligence are objects of life and therefore have the right to life. If we kill and use animals, then, according to Regan, in this case we should reconsider the concepts of the right to life and punishment.

But even in this philosophy we see shortcomings. First, in the ontological sense, the concept of “Right” is not clear. Secondly, living beings that are not endowed with a mind are deprived of their rights. And thirdly, there are many cases that contradict Regan’s theory. And in particular: a person who is in a vegetative state, in a coma, can be deprived of his life.

As we can see, not everything is so simple. And if the decision to become a vegetarian, based on Singer’s theory, were the best method in the struggle for animal liberation, then it would be natural for animalists to condemn all those who eat meat. But the weak point of this position is that it’s hard to convince people of what they should and shouldn’t do when everything they do is mandated, protected and accepted by the community and backed by law in every city on this planet.

Another problem is that a movement based on dietary change risks masking the real positions and goals of animal liberation. Animalists – or antispeciesists – should not be presented as those “who do not eat something”, but as the bearers of a new idea into this world. The movement of antispeciesism should give rise to ethical and political acceptability, the possibility of the existence of a society without the exploitation of animals, free from the eternal superiority of Homo sapiens. This mission, this hope for a new relationship that will completely change our community, must be entrusted not to vegans, the bearers of a new way of life, but to anti-species, the bearers of a new philosophy of life. Likewise, and perhaps most importantly, it is the prerogative of the animalist movement to want to speak for those who have no voice. Every death must resound in the heart of everyone.

Vulnerable antispeciesism

Why vulnerable?

The vulnerability of my theory lies, firstly, in the fact that it is not complete, like the theories of Singer and Regan, based on exact metaethics. Secondly, the vulnerability lies in the slogan itself: “Animals come first.”

But first, let’s figure out what exactly is Speciesism?

The author of the term is Peter Singer, who spoke about the superiority of one type of creature over others, in this case, the superiority of people over non-humans.

Many definitions were given much later, from Singer to Nibert. Both positive and negative connotations. Most often, two types are considered, based on which two directions of antispeciesism are developed. 

Natural – implies a preference for one species, including Homo sapiens, over other species. This can result in protection of one’s species and rejection of another species. And in this case, we can talk about bias.

Unnatural – implies the legalized infringement of animals by the human community, the killing of billions of animals for various reasons. Murder for research, clothing, food, entertainment. In this case, we can talk about ideology.

The fight against “natural antispeciesism” usually ends in a mistake in the style of Zamir, who agrees with the existence of spiceism in the community and respect for animal rights. But the idea of ​​speciesism does not disappear. (T. Zamir “Ethics and the beast”). The struggle against “unnatural antispeciesism” results in philosophical and political debates. When in fact the real enemy of the situation in all directions is the very concept of Speciesism and Legalized violence against animals! In the theory of vulnerable anti-speciesism, I highlight the following points: 1. The liberation of animals and the disenfranchisement of people. 2. Changing the behavior of each individual as an act of non-acceptance of the existing reality according to the theory of G. Thoreau (Henry David Thoreau) 3. Revision of legislation and the taxation system. Taxes should no longer go to support the killing of animals. 4. The movement of antispeciesism cannot have political allies who consider, first of all, the benefit of the individual. Because: 5. The anti-specialist movement puts the animal first. Based on these motives, you could say that the anti-specialist movement is impossible to implement. And we are left with a choice of two paths: a) To follow the path of moral or political anti-specialism, which presupposes a modification of the theory. b) Or continue to develop the theory of vulnerable antispeciesism, recognizing that our struggle is not only a struggle of people, but also a struggle of people for the rights of animals. Declaring that the watery face of a pig before the slaughter is worth more than all the dreams of mankind to conquer the seas, mountains and other planets. And choosing path b, we are talking about fundamental changes in our lives: 1. Derivation of a new concept of speciesism. Revisiting the concept of antispeciesism. 2. Achieving that as a result of the change in the consciousness of each person, animals will be put forward in the first place and, above all, their liberation. 3. The movement of animalists is, first of all, the movement of altruists

And the end of the struggle should not be the adoption of new prohibitive laws, but the disappearance of the idea of ​​using animals for any purpose. Declaring the liberation of animals, it is most often said about what a person should limit himself to, what to refuse and what to get used to. But often these “habits” are irrational. It has been said more than once that animals are used as food, clothing, entertainment, but without this a person can live! Why has no one ever put an animal at the center of the theory, not speaking of the inconveniences of man, but speaking, first of all, of the end of suffering and the beginning of a new life? The theory of vulnerable anti-speciesism says: “The animal comes first” and Bast! 

We can say that antispeciesism is a type of animal ethics, not ethics in its general concept, but a special approach to the issue of animal protection. Many philosophers with whom I have had a chance to talk in recent years say that the theories of antispeciesism and speciesism are very shaky. Because discrimination does not end with human-animal relationships, but there are also human-human, human-nature and others. But this only confirms how unnatural discrimination is, how unnatural to our nature. But no one has previously said, neither Singer nor other philosophers, that discrimination intersects and is interconnected, that a broader assessment of the role of human life and its subject matter is needed. And if today you ask me why philosophy is needed, at least moral philosophy, I could not answer otherwise than: it is needed in order to free every animal used by man for his own benefit. The pig does not make a revolution, so we must make it.

And if the question arose of the destruction of the human race, as the easiest way out of the situation, I would answer an unequivocal “No.” There must come an end to the distorted idea of ​​seeing life and the beginning of a new one, the starting point of which will be “The animal is first of all».

In collaboration with the author, the article was prepared by Julia Kuzmicheva

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