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Empty Cages: Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights

by Tom Regan (Author), Jeffery Moussaieff Masson (Author)



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
According to this friendly but uncompromising manifesto, "being kind" and
"avoiding cruelty" to animals is not enough. Regan proscribes instead a strict
regime of "animal rights," forbidding any exploitation of animals whatsoever-for
food, clothing, entertainment or even medical research of great benefit to
humans. Regan, a leading philosopher in the animal rights movement, intends the
book as a popular companion to his scholarly treatments of the subject. Animal
rights activists are, he asserts, "Norman Rockwell Americans," not violent
zealots, and while he describes a number of animal rights conversion experiences
("nothing else existed, just the elephant's gaze...looking through him"), his
target audience is the unpersuaded "muddler" who needs step-by-step convincing
to follow this path. He argues that all animals capable of caring about what
happens to them-mammals, birds and (maybe) fish-are "subjects-of-a-life" and
therefore on an equal moral footing with humans. The philosophical underpinnings
of Regan's analysis are not overly rigorous, his treatment of counter arguments
is sometimes impatient and exasperated, and his sentimentalization of animals
("our culture teaches us not to see hens like Penny and Sweet Pea as distinct
individuals") can seem cloying. The real force of his appeal comes from his
exposÚs of the heinous cruelty meted out to animals in factory farms, mink
ranches, hunting preserves, dolphin shows (they're not having fun, they're
desperate for fish) and research labs. Outrage sometimes gets the better of him
("is there no limit to the depths of betrayal to which we humans can sink?"),
but many readers will experience equally visceral reactions.

Product Description
Described by Jeffrey Masson as the single best introduction to animal rights
ever written, this new book by Tom Regan dispels the negative image of animal
rights advocates perpetrated by the mass media, unmasks the fraudulent rhetoric
of humane treatment favored by animal exploiters, and explains why existing laws
function to legitimize institutional cruelty.


Product Details

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.; New Ed edition (August 28, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0742549933

 

 

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