On his blog, James McWilliams talks about exploitation of animals. Here are 2 recent posts and a few clips from each:
“Vapid”: Animal Ethics And The Mainstream Media
Virtually every aspect of society is structured to prevent rational discussions about animal ethics.
“Speciesism is woven into our mental, social, and economic machinery.”
What’s conspicuously amiss in our contemporary media-saturated environment is an accessible discussion of speciesism and animal rights.
[An educated public discussion] is a necessary step in the long journey to end the exploitation of animals for human wants.
The Animal’s Almanac: “Cherish Them With Warmth”
Attention to the physical comfort of—and contact with—domestic animals was a constant theme in early American agricultural literature.
In a discourse on cows, the author of The Complete English Farmer, published in Boston in 1770, reminded readers that “ill treatment will only disgust them.”
[Animals] should “immediately become the objects of our kind regards.”
We began to treat [animals] like objects created by divine providence for our arbitrary use.
While reading his posts it occurred to me that the neglect and abuse animals experience is similar to that which other groups experience, notably, women, the elderly, certain racial and ethnic groups, and people of lower income. We objectify women, marginalize and ridicule older people, oppress minorities, and exploit the poor. You could replace "speciesism" in his remarks with "sexism," "ageism," or "racism" and they would still apply.
The lack of care we show for animals is a symptom of a larger problem in our culture.