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Eating Meat and Eating People

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 January 2009

Cora Diamond
University of Virginia
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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.

Copyright © The Royal Institute of Philosophy 1978


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

2 ‘The Enfranchisement of Women’; Dissertations and Discussions (Boston: Spencer, 1864), vol. III, pp. 99100Google Scholar. 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.Google Scholar

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

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

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.