August 18, 2009

Peter Singer: Vick's Critics Should Go Vegetarian

peter_singer.jpgThe Philadelphia Inquirer carries a thought-provoking article today about Michael Vick's dog fighting case, featuring an interview with Peter Singer - Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and author of the book Animal Liberation.

In the article, Singer puts Vick's situation into perspective, encouraging readers to consider how their own actions could be contributing to needless animal suffering.

Here are some highlights from Singer's interview:

"What he did was certainly awful. But many people do or participate in things regarding animals that are awful. To some extent, I think people may have rushed to judgment because he did something awful to dogs."...

"For example," he went on, "the kinds of things that are done to pigs to turn them into ham or bacon are awful, but we don't care as much about pigs as we do dogs. And I think there's every reason to believe that pigs are as sensitive and intelligent as dogs."...

"What I'm saying," he went on, "is that the people who are very quick to jump on Michael Vick maybe could spend some time thinking about how they participate in the cruelty to animals just by walking into the supermarket, spend some time thinking about what happened to that animal before it was turned into meat."...

"There are pigs, probably millions, on factory farms," he said, "who are having a worse time than Michael Vick's dogs. That's what I find a little incongruous about the response to what he did."

Singer's comments, though potentially hard to hear for individuals who care deeply about dogs, yet ignore the cruel plight of farmed animals, get to the core of our society's inconsistent views on animal cruelty.

Hopefully Singer's statements will open the hearts and minds of the millions of compassionate Americans, who were outraged over Vick's inexcusable abuse of dogs, to the suffering of animals killed for their dinner tables. Along the way, MFA will continue to work on inspiring consumers to widen their circle of compassion to include all animals by expanding our "Why love one but eat the other?" campaign.
 
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