Human Use of Animals

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Human Use of Animals

By | March 2013
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Human Use of Animals: Summary and Critique
Charles Hall
Ivy Bridge College

In his interviews with both The Open University and The Colbert Report, Dr. Peter Singer discusses the unethical human use of animals. Most of his claims are highly controversial and are not taken well by most people.

Human Use of Animals: Summary and Critique
The use of animals in modern civilization has been a controversial subject for the past few decades. Author and Philosopher Peter Singer has made his standpoint clear on this particular subject. In his interviews with The Open University and Stephen Colbert he explains why he believes in what he does and gives his reasoning behind it.

Singer’s idea of what defines a person is, “a person is someone who is aware of their own existence over time, and who is aware enough to realize that they are the same being who lived previously and who can expect to keep living into the future.”(Singer 2008) he goes on to give details of what constitutes personhood by stating that infants are not persons because they have not yet become self-aware, but a chimpanzee is a person because it can recognize itself in a mirror. He also states that humans with severe brain damage or someone who is intellectually impaired may have once been a person but is no longer a person. Dr. Singer believes that this is an important argument to the wrongness of killing as he clearly states, “I do think the idea of a being who can envisage his or her own future is morally significant, because if you compare the wrongness of killing a being who is capable of having some anticipation of the future, some desires for the future, perhaps even some projects to complete in the future, and you kill such a person who wants to go on living, you’re doing something wrong to that person which is something you’re not doing if you kill a being who is fully not a person and who can have no wishes or hopes for the future, and therefore you can’t cut off or thwart or frustrate...