Animal Rights

Gary Francione's Illogical Vegan View of Animal Rights

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Gary Francione makes the claim that his vegan view of animal rights is a logical one. See, for instance:

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/the-logic-of-a-vegan-diet

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The average American throws away 82lbs of clothes:

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/elephants-they-may-weigh-more-than-chickens-but-not-as-a-matter-of-morality

Some of us have trouble understanding that logic.

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The average American throws away 82lbs of clothes:

Vegan logic claims that all animals are morally equal. Vegans require no proof of this, they simply consider it to be self-evident. Vegan logic goes something like this: A  human, a fox, and a chicken are morally the same. It is therefore wrong for a human to kill and eat a chicken. A chicken is morally the same as a human and therefore a human killing a chicken is morally no different than a human killing another human. 

If one believes that all animals are morally the same, that belief may suggest the idea that any moral law applied to one animal in a certain circumstance must applied in the same way to any other animal in the same circumstance. This is the sort of logic that drives organizations such as PETA to stand outside schoolyards and pass out pamphlets telling young children that mommy is a murderer if she serves roast chicken for supper.   

Vegan logic claims that a human is morally the same as a chicken, and that it is therefore wrong for a human to kill and eat a chicken. Let us now extend vegan logic to include the fox we mentioned earlier. The human, the fox, and the chicken are morally the same according to vegan belief.  If it is wrong for a human to kill and eat a chicken, then it must also be wrong for the fox to kill and eat the chicken. The fox and the chicken are morally the same, and a fox killing a chicken is no different than a fox killing another fox. 

The moral laws that apply to the human must also apply to the fox for the claim that all animals are morally the same to be true. A fox that is given a free pass to kill and eat a chicken is not governed by the same morality as a human who, in the vegan way of looking at it, commits an act of murder when he or she kills and eats a chicken. If the fox is not held to account in the same way as the human, how can vegan logic claim the fox is morally the same as the human? If each species of animal was governed by its own moral laws and its own specific circumstances, it would be incorrect to claim one species was morally the same as the next.    

 Most of us who follow the animal rights debate will have heard of vegans who force their pet cat or dog to eat a vegan diet. In certain cases those animals have become ill or died as a result.  Is it abuse of an animal to force it to follow a diet foreign to its nature? 

Is Gary Francione’s veganism logical? 

I'll leave these questions for others to answer.