Go Vegan or Go Home
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The bottom line is that animals do not have any respect-based rights in the way that humans have, because we do not regard animals as having any moral value. They have only economic value. We value their interests economically, and we ignore their interests when it is economically beneficial for us to do so.
At this point, it makes no sense to focus on the law, because as long as we regard animals as things, as a moral matter, the laws will necessarily reflect that absence of moral value and continue to do nothing to protect animals. We need to change social and moral thinking about animals before the law is going to do anything more.
Deb Olin Unferth is the author of Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War (Henry Holt, 2011). Excerpted from The Believer (Feb. 2011), a magazine of essays, interviews, and cultural coverage published by McSweeney’s in San Francisco. www.believermag.com
Have something to say? Send a letter to email@example.com. This article first appeared in the July-August 2011 issue of Utne Reader.
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