The Animal Rights Movement in America: From Compassion to Respect

Lawrence Finsen, Author, Susan Finsen, With
Lawrence Finsen, Author, Susan Finsen, With Twayne Publishers $33 (309p) ISBN 978-0-8057-3883-4
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
Paperback - 309 pages - 978-0-8057-3884-1
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The authors, both philosophers and activists, document the evolution of what has consistently been a controversial, sometimes explosive social movement. While the Finsens trace the movement's beginnings back to the late 19th century, they focus largely on the nearly two decades following the 1975 publication of Peter Singer's Animal Liberation. In clear and thorough fashion, they discuss moral concerns that have become ever more pressing in a century that has witnessed a precipitous increase in the use of animals for agriculture and research and as pets. Discussing major campaigns such as the anti-fur movement, the fight against factory farming, the fight against scientific experimentation and the effort to solve pet overpopulation, they also cover both well-known organizations such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and ALF (Animal Liberation Front) and the many lesser-known and recently conceived groups. In a section titled ``Other Voices,'' the authors offer an overview of related movements like ecofeminism and opposing viewpoints that argue that sentience is morally irrelevant or that animal rights taken to the nth degree must mean rights for carrots. The final question raised, ``Whither Animal Rights?'' looks at the issues and tactics the animal rights movement will need to address as it strives for universal acceptance. (Sept.)
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