Last Sunday, September 14th, Animal Ethics gave a talk in London at the Black Cat Café in which our speakers gave an overview of some of the important issues in animal ethics and our goal as an organization. In the following months we plan to have other events introducing Animal Ethics in other places as well.
The talk was well received and attendees expressed interest in learning more. Below are some highlights of what was presented in the talk.
Animal Ethics is a nonprofit organization whose aim is to achieve a better world for all sentient animals. Our vision is a world in which animals’ interests are fully taken into account and speciesism is a thing of the past. Our work is an effort to move towards that world in ways that make the biggest difference we can for animals. In this we aim to be as efficient as possible with our limited resources, and to continually learn more about how to be as effective as possible.
The interests of nonhuman animals are being disregarded. Human interests are considered more important than the interests of animals. This is speciesism, the discrimination against animals who don’t belong to a particular species. This disregard of animals is often taken for granted as simply the way things are.
The relevance of sentience
What counts in order to be respected is being able to be harmed or benefited.
The relevant characteristic is sentience, which is the capacity to have positive and negative experiences.
Behavioral, physiological, and evolutionary evidence indicate that many animals are sentient and therefore can experience suffering and wellbeing.
Animals need our help
Billions of animals are exploited every year for food, clothing, and entertainment. Most of them have terrible lives. They may endure physical pain and psychological suffering from cramped, unsanitary conditions, untreated illnesses and injuries, and forced separation from their families. They are often unable to spend time outdoors or engage in natural behaviors. Even animals who live in better conditions still face a frightening death in a slaughterhouse at a young age.
Animals in the wild also need help. They must often cope with scarcity of food and water, harsh weather conditions, attacks by other animals, illness and injuries. There are many ways we could be helping wild animals. Some of the ways humans are currently helping animals are through vaccination programs, feeding programs, and rescues.
What can be done
There is already an antispeciesist movement in many countries around the world. Yet much more remains to be done to increase awareness of speciesism and the significance of its impact on animals. Animal Ethics was formed to contribute to this effort in some of the ways that still need to be addressed.
One of our goals at Animal Ethics is to provide animal activists and the general public with information that has previously been difficult to find. We provide information about speciesism, and about the conditions under which animals suffer by humans and in the wild. We also make available information about the ways animals are being helped in nature.
Animal Ethics welcomes anyone who is interested to volunteer. Our information is available to anyone who wants to help animals, whether they work with Animal Ethics or not.
For more information about Animal Ethics and how you can get involved, see About us and What you can do. Or read through the pages on our site to learn more about speciesism, animal sentience, and other topics related to animal ethics.