By Rod Preece
Because the so much populous province in Canada, Ontario is a microcosm of the animal welfare matters which beset Western civilization. The authors of this booklet, chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, locate themselves continually being made conscious of the atrocities dedicated within the Society’s jurisdiction. they've been, in flip, questioned, exasperated and horrified at humanity’s cruelty to our fellow sentient beings. the problems mentioned during this ebook are the main contentious in animal welfare disputes — animal experimentation, fur-farming and trapping, using animals for human leisure and the stipulations lower than which animals are raised for human intake. they're complicated matters and will be thought of really and heavily. The authors, status squarely at the part of the animals, recommend “community” and “belonging” as techniques by which to appreciate our relations to different species. They flooring their principles in Wordsworth’s “primal sympathy” and Jung’s “unconscious identification” with the animal realm. The philosophy constructed during this ebook embraces logic and compromise because the most effective paths to the aim of animal welfare. It calls for appreciate and attention for different species whereas acknowledging our basic tasks to our fellow people.
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These certainly are not the scenes one would expect if the philosophers had been taken seriously. Perhaps it was a boon beyond measure that only a very select few could read! Now one might want to retort that the duke was a rich man who could afford to be kind to his animals and that the artists would want to flatter both reality and the duke who paid their commission. Quite possibly. But we should recognize that even if the paintings are a little less than honestand personally we doubt it, given the Limbourgs accuracy of detail along with the depiction of the whip and ribsthey would still indicate that there was an awareness that animals ought to be treated with consideration.
Although animals were massacred in their hundreds of thousands in the gladiatorial combats of Rome they were, in total contrast, the objects of worship elsewhere. But the benefit to the animals was not always what one might imaginethough distinctly preferable to being the disparaged objects of infamous sport! We must look to Egypt for the most extensive deification of animals; but the attitudes which brought this about are to be found in early hunting history. When hunters first dared to challenge wild beasts to provide the next meal for themselves and their families, the animals proved to be worthy foes and indeed sometimes emerged the victors.
There is a cause, and an eminently worthwhile one, but it is to be pursued with common sense, with diligence, with goodwill, and with a recognition that there are human as well as non-human interests which do not always coincide. Moreover, there are legitimate and honourable differences of opinion which reason rather than unbridled emotion may help us to reconcile. We realize that this book may alienate some of those who are committed to the radical implementation of animal rights. We respect their commitment and we would regret the alienation of their empathy.
Animal Welfare and Human Values by Rod Preece