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Environmental Ethics

Volume 4, Issue 3, Fall 1982

David Lamb
Pages 215-233

Animal Rights and Liberation Movements

l examine Singer’s analogy between human liberation movements and animal liberation movements. Two lines of criticism of animal liberation are rejected: (1) that animal-liberation is not as serious as human liberation since humans have interests which override those of animals; (2) that the concept of animal liberation blurs distinctions between what is appropriate for humans and what is appropriate for animals. As an alternative I otfer a distinction between reform movements and liberation movements, arguing that while Singer meets the criterion for the former, a higher degree of autonomy and communicative competence is necessary for the latter. In the final section, objections to the possibility of an autonomous animal liberation movement are met by rejecting assumptions concerning the illogicality of interspecies communication.

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