Animal Lovers and Animal Rights
Copy of paper presented at the Animal Lovers conference at the NGBK gallery in Berlin on Saturday November 5, 2016, which was part of an exhibition of the same name from October 15 to November 27. The event was organised by a group of artists and scholars.
“If you’d asked me in the 1970s and 1980s why I cared about animals, I would have told you that I was against animal exploitation and for animal rights. No sentient being, regardless of species, deserves to be treated cruelly, exploited, or killed, I would have continued. No one deserves to be treated with the violence we subject animals to. I was proud of the fact that I didn’t love animals. Indeed, having taken philosophers Tom Regan and Peter Singer at their word, I would have argued vehemently that you didn’t have to love animals in order to be their advocate. Animal rights were moral and political issues, and affection or feelings or an ethic of care had nothing to do with either of these. In fact, to be called an ‘animal lover’ was, I felt, a slur.”
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