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Enemies of human beings: Josep Ferrater Mora on blood fiestas

2012.02.16

AUTHOR: Andrew Linzey, The Ferrater Mora Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, University of Oxford.
TITLE: «Enemies of human beings»: Josep Ferrater Mora on blood fiestas

PUBLICATION DATE: 2012
PUBLICATION PLACE: raco.cat, dA web Center, February 2012

ABSTRACT

Ferrater Mora maintained that «an enemy of animals is another way of being an enemy of
human beings», and similarly many famous thinkers from Aquinas to Kant have held that
cruelty to animals leads to cruelty to humans. But how precisely are we to understand this
connection? This paper reviews the work of Brian Klug, Thomas I. White, Jonathan Edwards, and James Gustafson, and suggests that cruelty to animals should be rightly characterised as a «degradation» arising from multidimensional deficiency: (i) a failure of perception, resulting in (ii) an enfeebled intellect, and (iii) a contracted, shrivelled sensitivity. If true, animal abuse should be taken with greater seriousness by moralists, if only because there is an ineradicable human interest in curbing our degradation of animals. Indeed, there is now mounting medical, psychological, and statistical evidence of the link between animal cruelty and human anti-social behaviour.

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