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Eating Meat and Eating People

  • Cora Diamond (a1)


This paper is a response to a certain sort of argument defending the rights of animals. Part I is a brief explanation of the background and of the sort of argument I want to reject; Part II is an attempt to characterize those arguments: they contain fundamental confusions about moral relations between people and people and between people and animals. And Part III is an indication of what I think can still be said on—as it were–the animals' side.



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1 See especially Singer, Peter, Animal Liberation (New York, New York Review, 1975), Regan, Tom and Singer, Peter, eds, Animal Rights and Human Obligations (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1976), Stanley and Godlovitch, Roslind and Harris, John, eds, Animals, Men and Morals (New York: Grove, 1972), and Ryder, Richard, ‘Speciesism: The Ethics of Vivisection’ (Edinburgh: Scottish Society for the Prevention of Vivisection, 1974).

2 ‘The Enfranchisement of Women’; Dissertations and Discussions (Boston: Spencer, 1864), vol. III, pp. 99100. Mill's share in writing the essay is disputed, but his hand is evident in the remarks about Chartism.

3 The British Vegetarian, 01/02 1969, p. 59.

4 Intellectual Growth in Young Children (London: Routledge, 1930), pp. 160162.

5 Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters (London: Secker and Warburg, 1968), Vol. II, p. 254.

6 For much in this paper I am indebted to discussions with Michael Feldman. have also been much helped by Jonathan Bennett's comments on an earlier version of Part II.

Permission to quote the poems on pp. 472–3 was kindly given by the Vegetarian Society, and by the Society of Authors as representative of the Literary Trustees of Walter de la Mare.


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