- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: Temple University Press; 49054th edition (September 5, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1566396921
- ISBN-13: 978-1566396929
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,032,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? 49054th Edition
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From Library Journal
Well written, passionately argued, and clearly reasoned, this book still suffers from one major flaw: na?vet?. While no one can argue that there are problems with the way our society views and treats animals, specifically the status of animals as property, Francione expresses the common animal-rights position that every use of animalsAwhether for medical testing, entertainment, or even consumptionAis immoral or inherently wrong. Taking on Descartes, Locke, Jeremy Bentham, and even Peter Singer (known by many for Animal Liberation, long considered a foundation text for the animal-rights movement), Francione argues that animals can only be considered as having moral status or as being thingsAthere is no other choice. While his argument may well have some validity, the status of animals in our society (and beyond) is more like a compromise between the two. Recommended for larger animal-rights collections.AAlicia Graybill, Lincoln City Libs., NE
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Francione, law professor and author of two previous books on animal rights, presents a moral introduction to the concept of animal interests. Departing from an ethical situation (you arrive home to find your house burning so fiercely that you can only save your child or your dog), the author expands on the precept that choosing to save the child does not ascribe a lack of value to the dog. Speaking of "our moral schizophrenia" in the fact that we recognize that animals have some interests that humans are morally and legally obligated to respect, but that we still treat them as our property, the author expands on this schizophrenia with a well-thought out, logical discussion of the way animals should be treated--as fellow, sentient occupants of the planet. Francione's well-crafted arguments are supported by extensive notes and by a clear writing style that continually builds upon his previous points. This scholarly work will appeal to thinking animal-rights activists and is recommended for libraries with large collections in the field. Nancy Bent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Nevertheless, one thing I always thought was weird was how people could say they love animals and then eat meat, wear leather and exploit animals in all sorts of way. It never made sense to me, yet I couldn't quite explain myself when people asked me about my views, especially when it came to humane killing for food consumption.
Francione put my views in words. His basic argument is: you can either choose to treat animals as property or as beings that have moral significance. But you can't do both. His book encompasses by far the most 'hardcore' viewpoint you'll find on animal rights. However I personally think it's also the only one that makes sense. I've read Peter Singer's book and although I admire him, Singer's argument always made me a bit uneasy since he basically argued for humane killing.
There was a time when animals were considered as mechanical machines, to be used as we desire. Now we have slowly moved to our current position where we don't think unnecessary harm to animals is warranted. But I think most people still consider animals as things to be used. The idea that animals are not ours to use is, as can be expected, too extreme for our current culture. That is why I imagine Francione's book is not as popular as Singer simply because Francione's viewpoint is a bit ahead of his time.
Many animal rights proponents, including Singer and Francione, make comparisons between human slavery and animal use. Some people in the 19th century might have laughed at the idea of treating slaves with some moral significance, some might have called for more humane treatments of slaves and some for the complete abolition of slavery. The analogy is quite accurate for our time: some people laugh at the idea of treating animals with moral significance, some call for more human treatment and some for the complete abolition of animal use (Francione).
We know how slavery turned out. And personally, I have no doubt history will repeat itself, although perhaps not as violently. So if you're at all interested in animal rights, actually even if you're not interested, you really owe yourself to read this book. You might not agree with it, thought at least you'll learn about a new perspective.
The only reason I give it 4 stars is because Francione does not make a strong argument against religious viewpoints that animals are here for our benefit. I don't know if he'll ever be able to succesfully argue that, considering that a lot of religious viewpoints are hard to argue (e.g. if in the 19th century, you genuinely believed slavery was condoned by God, I imagine it was hard to argue against that).
Francione is known for being direct, truthful, no-nonsense. You'll be so glad of that when you read this book. :)