Lectures on Animal Protection

The Centre for Animals and Social Justice (UK) website has a summary of Dan Lyons’ recent visit to Canada, where he gave a number of talks about the governance of animal experimentation in the UK (which has debated this question much more seriously than Canada). Dr. Lyons was a speaker at the “Thinking Outside the Cage” conference at Queen’s, which explored how we replace self-regulation by animal researchers and industry with open and democratic deliberation on this vital question of ethics and the public interest. A report on this conference will be available in a future link from this site.

Read the summary here

Disposable Captives

Lori Gruen reflects on the recent high-profile killing of a giraffe and lions at the Copenhagen Zoo. She questions the justification for the killing of the animals and also the purpose of zoos in general.

To quote Gruen: “Awe-inspiring animals such as giraffes and gorillas and cheetahs and chimpanzees are not seen as individuals, with distinct perspectives, when viewed, as Dick says, as either useful or useless “specimens.” They are valued, if at all, as representative carriers of their species’ genes.

This distorts our understanding of other animals and our relationships to them. Part of the problem is that zoos are not places in which animals can be seen as dignified. Zoos are designed to satisfy human interests and desires, even though they largely fail at this. A trip to the zoo creates a relationship in which the observer, often a child, has a feeling of dominant distance over the animals being looked at. It is hard to respect and admire a being that is captive in every respect and viewed as a disposable specimen, one who can be killed to satisfy a mission that is hard for the zoo-going public to fully understand, let alone endorse.”

Read the full article here

Yet More Reasons Why Feminists Should Oppose Animal Research (link)

Here is an important blogpost on other feminist reasons to oppose animal research, written by Cheryl E Abbate and published on the Vegan Feminist Network blog.

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Excerpt:

Why is it harder for women to torment and kill animals than it is for men? Because women, who are oppressed by the same logic of domination that oppresses animals, form a special bond with animals– their fellow victims of male violence and patriarchy. Furthermore, as victims of oppression ourselves, we know what it means to be treated like a mere tool, object, commodity, or instrument. We know how it feels to be dominated and exploited by those in positions of power and privilege. And for most of us, we would never wish such experiences upon any other being: human or animal.