As it did for many other readers, Animal Liberation opened a new realm of consciousness for me. Its absolute rationality is of course what makes it irresistibly enticing. Anti-speciesism is not wishy-washy emotions, or even sensible compassion, but quite simply one of the most rational strands of ethics, one that we humans have a duty to instil into our everyday decisions and actions.
As I mentioned in my review of Eating Animals, I don’t understand how someone who is educated, like me, had never before come across the question of our treatment of animals from an ethical perspective. I studied philosophy for years, up to a higher education level; but I guess, this studying took place in France, where considering animals like mere machines or objects, the cartesian way, is still prevalent in huge parts of our society.
I thank Peter Singer for writing this book. Gratitude is the only appropriate response to his writing and publishing it, and educating me, helping me grow and learn. From childhood, this is what I’ve thought books are meant to do, whether they try and inform, provoke or simply entertain. I also loved his style and I found the field of practical ethics so alluring that I rushed off to download his latest offering, The Most Good You Can Do. Its focus on efficient altruism was so intriguing that I delved into it immediately, and will review it next. I had lost touch over the years with my love for the practical application of philosophical ideas which was what I used to love the most about philosophy when studying it.
Go away and read Animal Liberation. Then come back and read The Most Good You Can Do.