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Diminishing Animal Rights to Merely a Moral Issue Will Only Prevent People From Joining the Cause

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In the early 1980s, philosopher Peter Singer described a crucial development across human history: humanity’s expanding moral circle. This circle defines boundaries for entities worthy of moral consideration, and sets up a hierarchy in which groups in power can unilaterally decide the moral worth of another group’s interests. Though it sounds demeaning, the expansion of our moral circle has broken down many normative patriarchal standards. For instance, it paved the way for women’s liberation and civil rights across the U.S. by allowing marginalized groups to be considered on equal footing as others in the same moral circle. 

Likewise, as people begin to understand our role in environmental destruction and animal suffering, they have also started to reflect on the worth of animals in our system of moral judgment. The same strategy of expanding our moral circle that aided women’s liberation can be theoretically applied to animal rights. The production of satisfactory plant-based alternatives to meat may help us see animals as more than food but equal beings, the same way our horrendously patriarchal norms started to include women as more than homebodies. However well-intentioned this may be, attempting to stop the world from excessive animal consumption through moral reasoning is too idealistic. 

Long-standing traditions aren’t easily swayed by pundits and advocates emoting about the pain and suffering of animals; unfortunately, that’s a debate nearly impossible to win. Trying to reconcile cultural and religious traditions by taking a self-proclaimed moral high ground isn’t the way to go. For instance, in Spain, bullfighting is a historical tradition rooted in honor of bull worship in early Mesopotamia and Mediterranean civilizations. However, so is the killing of the bulls after the event. Should animal rights overshadow culture and tradition? Culture will adapt and evolve with our knowledge, and I’m not preaching otherwise. What I am saying, however, is that asking people to shed long-standing traditions is not as easy as calling it the “moral” thing to do. Reconfiguring our thought processes and altering it for the good of the universe is frankly not how we were programmed.

Animal rights is even further complicated by our hierarchical classification of animals. Humans sit on top, domestic pets like cats and dogs a little lower, wildlife like elephants and whales, and at the very bottom, farm animals who seem to exist for sustenance. At each level, people support different laws to protect different clusters of animals. In U.S. culture, cats and dogs have enjoyed doting affection by their owners. On the other hand, animals in factory farms are still suffering, and the U.S. is at the forefront of cruel farming practices. Animal rights is hypocritical when there is no universal standard for how we think of animals. Everyone is more focused on their own definitions of what an animal is, what rights animals should have and how they measure up in relation to the individual. Extending moral concern to other species would only be feasible if we achieved the first two stages of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. As long as we still compete with animals for resources and our basic physiological needs are failed to be met, moral dilemmas are a luxury. 

Sure, it can be argued that humans have ethical obligations toward animals, like caring for their well-being and ceding them a right to life. But say we do offer animals the same rights as humans. To do so means that we cannot cherry-pick the rights they get. Should they also receive the right to life and body integrity? Will they be subjected to the same legal system and receive negative consequences to their actions? In the current world, animals are not prosecuted for crimes, nor are they offered an equal opportunity to get married and have an education. Not only does this reflect an inability for animals to be awarded the same moral consideration, but it further exemplifies the importance for animals to have rights that make sense for their interests in the world. Sentience is one thing, understanding that sentience is another. If we do not even have the capacity to offer equal rights to humans, we cannot do so for animals. As much as I hate it, it’s difficult to escape the anthropocentric slant against animals. As much as I wish it did, equality doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

Different social positions and power shape the way we view society, and everything we feel is subjective, so much so that we can only use our own feelings as a standard to measure the feelings of other animals that are similar to us. We approximate the interests of animals, believing that if humans want to stay alive and avoid torture, so do they. I agree that animals should get the same so-called “right” to life just like us, but the world is unfortunately a hierarchical mess that can’t be simply adjusted by moral righteousness.

Many people, like social psychologist Melanie Joy, have tried to defend animal rights through associating animal cruelty with oppressive systems like racism and sexism. Comparing animals with racial inequality is blowing up the issue of animal rights while unfairly desensitizing racism. For instance, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and their white normative campaigns disincentive people of color from joining their fight for animal rights. The underrepresentation of minority communities in animal movements comes as no surprise to me, when PETA’s shock advertising compared animal cruelty with antebellum slavery or linked Holocaust victims with animal captivity. Trivializing human experiences through hyperboles will only drive people away from the cause. 

All this isn’t to say that I disagree with making living conditions for animals more appropriate, to stop subjecting them to miserable lives in battery cages or live shackling. Quite the contrary, I recognize the injustice of animals suffering on farms and their unethical, barbaric treatment. Changing our diets to reduce our consumption of animals to protect the environment. But I also see the difficulties of trying to equalize the worth of every entity on the planet, and I am skeptical that there exists a future where everyone is willing to eat or use meat substitutes by moral reasoning alone. For example, animal research is vital for medical breakthroughs and scientific progressions in diseases like AIDS. Clinical trials are first done on animals before humans. I’ve grappled with the inevitable consequences of thousands of martyred animals just to save humans who have done little to live harmoniously with the rest of the world. Are we really worth that much? I’m not sure, but I don’t think not eating meat solves that problem.

The moral complexity and consideration for beings other than ourselves is one that we should always be thinking about. But instead of imploring people to switch to plant-based alternatives by forcing them to reckon with moral values, outline the environmental destruction of industrial agriculture and the atrocious conditions for farm animals.

Sophia Ling (24C) is from Carmel, Indiana.

The post Diminishing animal rights to merely a moral issue will only prevent people from joining the cause appeared first on The Emory Wheel.

Original Source: emorywheel.com

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12 Ways to Decide Whether or Not to Jump on a Marketing Trend

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While leveraging one trend might work well for a particular brand, trying to incorporate the same trend into another brand’s strategy may not have any impact at all—or worse, it might damage a brand in the eyes of consumers if the effort doesn’t feel genuine to its story and ethos.

Original Article: forbes.com

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National Fuel Customers Will Soon See Small Decrease in Monthly Bill

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There’s a little bit of good news if you’re a National Fuel gas customer.


Senator Dan Laughlin reaches out to National Fuel asking for headquarters to be moved to Erie

NFG has submitted a quarterly adjustment to the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission. The move — effective Tuesday — will mean a small reduction in the average monthly residential bill.

According to NFG, the rate adjustment is primarily due to lower market prices decreasing the cost of gas that they buy for customers.

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The typical bill will go down by $2.60 per month.

Source: yourerie.com

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‘Walking Dead’ Actor Moses J. Moseley Dies at 31: ‘You Will Be Deeply Missed’

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(NEXSTAR) – Moses J. Moseley, a young actor who appeared in AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and HBO’s “Watchmen,” has died at the age of 31.

Both AMC and a representative at Moseley’s talent agency confirmed the news via social media.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our #TWDFamily member Moses J. Moseley,” reads a message posted to the show’s official Twitter account on Monday.


Former ‘Bachelorette’ contestant Clint Arlis dead at 34

Moseley’s body was found on Jan. 26 in Stockbridge, Georgia, a representative for the Henry County Police Department said. He was found inside a locked vehicle with a gunshot wound to the side of his face and a handgun in his lap, according to a police report shared with Nexstar.

Moseley, who portrayed one of the two zombies that Michonne (Danai Gurira) kept as leashed “pets” in the earlier seasons of the series, had also appeared in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Attack of the Southern Fried Zombies” and HBO’s “Watchmen” series, among other television and film projects.

Moseley was also mourned by friend and talent agent Tabatha Minchew of Established Artists.

“I love you @mosesmoseley we had so many amazing years of friendship together always had so much fun together,” Michew wrote on Instagram. “I am glad you were part of our family for so long I just wish we had longer. You will be deeply missed. #RIP.”

The investigation into Moseley’s passing is ongoing, police say.

If you or someone you know is thinking of harming themselves, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free support at 1-800-273-8255. Starting on July 16, 2022, U.S. residents can also be connected to the Lifeline by dialing 988. For more about risk factors and warning signs, visit the organization’s official website.

Original Post: yourerie.com

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