Hastings Center Report. 1989 Nov/Dec; 19(6): 44-45.
A British philosopher writes on the necessity of altering stereotypes within and without the animal rights movement if its goals are to be defined and achieved. Midgley devotes the first half of her essay to a discussion of the difficulties of effecting any social change due to conflict between extremist reformers and nominal reformers. The former often are led to an abstract, negative, and impractical absolutism, and the latter frequently are paralyzed by respectability and lose the desire to effect change. Midgley then outlines the difficulties society has in reconciling a two centuries old trend toward compassionate, humanitarian thinking with the controversial subject of animal welfare. She argues that such issues as animal farming, fur-wearing, and animal experimentation cannot be addressed by adherence to impractical stereotypes held by animal welfarists, scientists, and the rest of society. (KIE abstract)