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AUGUST 13, 2007 1:34 PM

Bruce Friedrich Rebuffs LaVeck and Stein's "NeoCarn" Charges
PETA's Vice President for International Campaigns, Bruce Friedrich, has written a provocative reply to James's LaVeck's recent argument that Welfarist reforms undercut the animal rights movement. (The above link will take you to directly to Friedrich's article, but you should also check out the excellent blog on which it is posted--Animal Blawg, an animal law blog for academics, students, and practitioners.)

In a rather ingenious turning of the tables, Friedrich maintains that LaVeck's criticisms of those who support welfare reforms betray a hidden but potent form of speciesism in LaVeck's own arguments. Says Friedrich: "Death penalty opponents simultaneously advocate for the abolition of the death penalty while also working to ban the most torturous forms of execution (e.g., hanging and electrocution). Most readers are probably opposed to the death penalty, and yet we recognize that at the very least, we should support efforts to eliminate especially horrible forms of killing prisoners while they are alive. Those animal advocates who don't take the same stance with regard to animal welfare reforms (and demean them as inconsequential) seem to lack the ability fully to empathize with animals in the same way we empathize with humans--again, speciesism in its purest form."

Friedrich's article is a "must read" for those who wish to stay abreast of the most important developments in the movement.