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Animal Rights and Wrongs [Hardcover]

Roger Scruton
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jan 2000
Roger Scruton sets out a compelling account of how we should think about the morality of our relationships to other animals. He argues that it is wrong to believe that animals automatically have rights, but suggests we owe them duties depending on whether we are treating them as pets, for laboratory experiments or for meat. This is essential reading in the light of the recent public concern over issues such as veal calf exportation and the BSE crisis

Product details

  • Hardcover: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Claridge Press; 3rd Revised edition edition (1 Jan 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900512815
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900512817
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 11.9 x 19.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 931,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Professor Roger Scruton is Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Washington and Senior Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. His other books include Sexual Desire, The West and the Rest, England: An Elegy, News from Somewhere and Gentle Regrets (all published by Continuum). --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars mildly challenging, fatally deluded 20 July 2009
By G. Park
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As an advocate of animal rights I expected to be challenged by this book. Instead I ended up feeling a bit sorry for old Roger Scruton. He seems to inhabit an imaginary rural paradise, where Daisy the cow and Porky the pig live happy lives until they are painlessly killed for the Sunday roast. Then we play cricket, go to church, kill a pesky fox, have a jolly pint of local ale, etc.
He states that non-human animals have no rights because they are incapable of participating in the moral community, which consists solely of those who can negotiate (in English, preferably.) Carnivores, he says, would starve if they had to respect the rights of their prey, therefore to confer rights to carnivores would "constitute a gross and callous abuse of them."
Scruton fails to address the broader definition of rights, as first (I think) proposed by Peter Singer, as the right of a being to pursue its interests.
He dismisses Benthams famous question (the question is not can they speak? can they reason? but can they suffer?) as simplistic. To reduce morality to a simple equation of suffering is beneath human capability, it is mere utilitarianism. Morality is a purely human domain, Homo Sapiens alone has the intellect, the virtue, the equanimity, the broad view, the piety, wisdom, quasi-divinity, to judge. We are, in Scruton's world, the stewards of nature. We own it.
We are, therefore, allowed to use crude utilitarian principles in our treatment of non-human animals. It's ok for us to behave like Hitler or Stalin so long as its not with humans.
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17 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting arguments 7 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Do animals have rights? This is the question that Roger Scruton sets out to investigate in his updated and controversial book Animal Rights and Wrongs. Controversial being the operative word, with many of Scrutons arguments quite sensational. However, that being said he does have some salient points on an issue which has become increasingly one sided. If nothing else it is a book that will keep you thinking, keep you arguing, tutting and muttering to yourself.
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