Monday, 27 November 2006

animal ethics

Another item from the BBC Sunday radio programme:

New think tank for animal rights opens
What rights, if any, do animals have? What’s described as the world’s first academy, to enhance the ethical status of animals, opens in Britain tomorrow. The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics will act as an international think tank with its own online course, research initiatives and publications. It’s focusing in particular on the relationship between animal abuse and human violence. More than 100 academics from ten countries have agreed to become advisers in an attempt to put animals on the intellectual agenda. But, with many conflicting views on such issues as experimentation and organic farming, how effective will the centre be? Mike Ford reports from Oxfordshire.
Listen (6m 9s)

BBC Religion & Ethics - Animal ethics

The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

Evening Standard Think tank aims to spark animal ethics debate
There is also a Church Times report about this which I will link when it becomes public.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 27 November 2006 at 1:46pm GMT | TrackBack
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Comments

I'm pleased to hear that Andrew Linzey has organised this and made it work. Oxford is probably the right place for it, too. The issue of suffering, pain and sentience is the core of all of this, for Christian and Buddhist theologies especially, and though we rightly put a boundary around all humans so none should be experimented upon against their known and knowable permission, the boundary extends no further and this is the "speciesism" area of difficulty.

Sometimes a strong case is made that there has to be this experiment, on that animal, for this minimal period, at this drugged reduced pain level, or with that minimal physical damage, only to find that the worth of the experiment on an animal and its transferability to humans is questionable.

Posted by: Pluralist on Monday, 27 November 2006 at 2:50pm GMT

Andrew Linzey is a first rate thinker, he has brought animal ethics from the margins of extremism into the mainstream.
I pray this new academic enterprise will prosper and challenge us all!

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Monday, 27 November 2006 at 4:59pm GMT

This encourages me very much. I was delighted to hear it on the Sunday programme (radio 4) and seeing it here.

I do feel Andrew Lindzey has been a lone, brave voice over many years. He has urged his faith tirelesslly and now it is entering another phase. He gives me hope. It feels like a Christ-like undertaking.

I can imagine that on some future day, we will look back, on our routine treatment of the other animals, with shock and disbelief. As he himself says treating them as objects and machines.

Although I fail to live up them, Blakes words on kindness must be an encouragement to us all.

Posted by: laurence on Monday, 27 November 2006 at 5:51pm GMT

I liked these quotations for the site.

Professor Linzey added: “We must strive to ensure animal issues are highlighted and rationally discussed throughout society - we cannot change the world for animals without changing our ideas about them. The Centre will promote ethical attitudes and contribute to informed public debate.”

Professor Priscilla Cohn, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Penn State University, who is the Associate Director of the Centre, added: “It seems to us that academics should take the lead in helping to foster a new kind of debate about animals ­ one that goes beyond slogans and stereotypes.”
The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics is named after the distinguished philosopher, Jose Ferrater Mora, who spoke out vigorously against bull-fighting in Spain.

Posted by: laurence on Tuesday, 28 November 2006 at 12:37pm GMT

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! I believe that those of us created in the image of God have much to answer for in our treatment of God's other creatures - whom He also loves. I pray that the Centre can take us closer to recognizing that and to making necessary changes. In the words of the Rev. James Thompson, "The basic premise of any worthy faith is that the strong speak out and protect weaker and more vulnerable forms of life than their own. As for any doubt about the existence of hell, one only has to visit an intensive pig unit to see it in action." May Rev. Linzey and the Centre continue to bring us closer to abolishing intensive pig units and other horrors!

Posted by: Ruth on Tuesday, 28 November 2006 at 1:56pm GMT

I look on this with a jaundiced eye, since, while there are reputable organizations promoting animal welfare, there is also a sizable industry making a living producing propaganda, animal snuff films, and other outright lies. It is a lucrative industry, and it is unjust. I would hate to think what would happen if the Church were led astray by groups like Sea Shepherd or IFAW.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 28 November 2006 at 6:14pm GMT

This is an excellent development. In demonstrating a reverence for Creation, one of the questions to be asked is "is this suffering necessary?"

We become used to doing cruel and inhumane things because that is the way things are done, or there "isn't any choice". It is excellent to have a voice to prick our consciences on a regular basis by asking the hard questions.

And on animal cruelty linking into violence or other abuse between humans. Research into anti-social oppositional defiant conduct disorder does show a strong correlation between those who enjoy hurting animals (even as children) and those who will go on to commit violent crimes against members of humanity. Let alone the difficulty of dealing with their "nastiness" on an ongoing basis.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Tuesday, 28 November 2006 at 6:27pm GMT

Ford, I'd like to respond to your post, but will just say I remember your comments in my (old) guestbook in strong defense of the Canadian seal slaughter.

(Just passing through on a Google search, and am very happy to see this topic being discussed here.)

Posted by: Sue on Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 2:54am GMT

Sue,
My comments were in opposition to the lies, slander, propaganda, and hypocrisy of the animal rights industry towards Newfoundlanders. I'd hate to see the Church allow herself to be manipulated by such unscrupulous people.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 1:14pm GMT

Manipulation is in the eyes of the beholder.

I hope the Church will start taking the mistreatment of animals seriously as a moral issue, as it has on other issues of oppression, abuse and violence.

(The RSPCA was founded by an Anglican priest, Arthur Broome.)

Posted by: Sue on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 11:55pm GMT

No, Sue, manipulation occurs when lies are repeated despite having been demonstrated to be untrue. When video footage is staged showing atrocities that only actually take place in the filming of these videos and this is claimed to represent reality, that is propaganda, and manipulation of the public. When publicity stunts are staged to draw attention to "atrocities" that never actually happen, that is manipulation. I pray the Church does not fall for this.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Saturday, 2 December 2006 at 12:57pm GMT

You might be encouraged to hear that your government will be suppressing future stagings of propaganda for next year's seal hunt:
http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications/press_releases/the_hsus_condemns_canadian_hunt_regulations.html

Aside from your opinion of what the opposition has to say about the annual slaughter, do you have any workable suggestions for a more humane way of dealing with the seal population? If so, I hope you'll present it your local or national government decision-makers. If not, we don't need to run this side-issue into the ground here.


Posted by: Sue on Saturday, 2 December 2006 at 4:09pm GMT

Sue after reading the article (thank you) I checked out your website. It wasn't easy to find the stuff on seals. There's a lot of material there...

I would hope that things are being done compassionately with the seals. A brainstorming suggestion could be that if numbers are too high they could try deprovera "shots" into the females seals before they go into heat, then the cubs wouldn't be conceived and there would be no need for slaughter.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Saturday, 2 December 2006 at 8:42pm GMT

I was overjoyed to hear of this website through my local Christian Vegetarian Association newsletter. And I am glad that Andrew Linzey, a respected academic on animal welfare, is the director. I have read many of his books and he has helped me to form my own opinions concerning God's creation from a Christian viewpoint. Animals will have a better chance now because academics at Oxford will be listened to and their opinions carry more weight than animal rights activists, though I am aware that both in their own way make a valuable contribution to bringing about change. Thanks, I shall be visiting this website often.

Posted by: Coral Raven on Wednesday, 27 December 2006 at 1:05pm GMT

"Lord, I have a problem!"
"What's the problem, Eve?"
"Lord, I know you've created me and have provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals and that hilarious comedy snake, but I'm just not happy."
"Why is that, Eve?" came the reply from above.
"Lord, I am lonely. And I'm sick to death of apples." "Well, Eve, in that case, I have a solution. I shall create a man for you."
"What's a 'man,' Lord?"
"This man will be a flawed creature, with aggressive tendencies, an enormous ego and an inability to empathize or listen to you properly, he'll basically give you a hard time. He'll be bigger, faster, and more muscular than you. He'll be really good at fighting and kicking a ball about and hunting fleet-footed ruminants, But, he'll be pretty good in the sack."
"I can put up with that," says Eve, with an ironically raised eyebrow.
"Yeah well, he's better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick. But, there is one condition."
"What's that, Lord?"
"You'll have to let him believe that I made him first."
:D :D :D

_____________________________
shemale and gay and sex

Posted by: Machomacho on Thursday, 25 January 2007 at 4:49am GMT
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