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Animal Liberation Notes

Peter Singer. Animal Liberation. Second Edition. (London: Pimlico, 1995)

xiv. Habit is the reason why we are lead to think in this way, like the oppression of blacks
and other minorities, it becomes acceptable. The term animal separates us humans from
what we are also, especially as it can have negative connotations (Planet of the Apes, for
example), the brute creation, as Singer calls it.
p.7. Jeremy Bentham: The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can
they suffer?
p.9. Sexists violate the principle of equality by favouring the interests of their own sex.
Similarly, specisists allow the interests of their own species to override the greater interests of
members of other species. The pattern is identical in each case.
Most humans are specisists.
p.10 Descartes animals as automata.
p.12. Animals DO feel pain!
p.14 Language may be necessary for abstract thought, at some level anyway, but states like
pain are more primitive, and have nothing to do with language.
p.70. The experimenter is actually part of a perverse experiment of testing their own ethical
boundaries. The reasoning through specieation means their own lifestyles are govern by these
experiments, their livelihood, interests and social status.
p.71. Conditional ethical blindness.
p.91. Claim about insulin and animal experiments being vital, denied.
p.102. Debeaking chickens to prevent them from becoming cannibals and eating each other
in confined spaces.
p.121. Tail docking of pigs in confinement, prevents tail biting.
p.149. shinkage (susceptibility of extreme stress, weight loss) and shipping fever (form of
pneumonia in cattle), when transferring the animals.
p.152. stunning animals with electricity, not painful is untrue.
p.162. Vegetarianism as a form of boycott.
p.164. People do not have enough to eat, food to feed animals. A false economy of sorts
p.167. A pound of meat requires fifty times as much water as an equivalent quantity of
p.176. Does not object to free-range eggs.

p.187. God gives Noah domino over the animals: Every moving thing that liveth shall be
meat for you [...]
p.191. Christianity spreads the idea that only human life is sacred.
p.192. Jesus shows us we do not have to be concerned about the welfare of animals,
according to St Augustine, because, for example he turns the devils into swines.
p.205. Darwin: Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy of the interposition
of a deity. More humble and, I believe, true, to consider him created from animals.
p.222. The RSPCA set up the NSPCC
p.226. Leave animals alone, stop playing tyrant and not play God.
p.229. Good succinct argument about killing animals for food outside of survival makes us
treat them as objects for our own uses.