On the tail-docking of pigs, human circumcision, and their implications for prevailing opinion regarding pain
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (1):89–93 (2003)
In this paper, I argue for the modest claim that people's apparent indifference to animal pain may not be predicated upon speciesism. I defend that claim by developing an analogy between current attitudes toward at least some non‐human animal pain — that which pigs endure while having their tails ‘docked’— and our culture's indifference to the pain that male human infants experience while being circumcised. And I conclude that to convince more of their philosophical and social critics, ‘animal liberationists’ need to spend more time analyzing the pain that non‐human animals experience and defending its moral significance, rather than assuming that such pain is significant and then simply arguing that unnecessary forms of it exist
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