Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Adam Kochanowicz Interview w/Gary L. Francione: Update

The last two installments of Adam Kochanowicz's recent interview with Professor Gary L. Francione are now available. Part three can be heard via Adam's Vegan Examiner article here. You can also hear all four installments by visiting the audio resources section of Professor Francione's Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach website.

Bob Torres, who produces the Vegan Freak Radio podcast with his wife Jenna, tweeted earlier this evening to announce that a new show will be released sometime tomorrow morning, featuring an appearance by Professor Francione. You can follow both Bob (@veganfreak) or Jenna (@pleather) on Twitter. You'll find the podcast on the Vegan Freak Radio website, along with many of Bob and Jenna's previous shows.

1 comment: said...

Robert Garner thinks that nonhuman animals have a right not to suffer but not the right not to be used.
I'm curious about how an advocate of regulation who thinks theoretically about the issue is going to confront an argument the validity of which appears to be completely independent of an abolitionist position. From what I have understood about the concept of rights, it implies that a basic right is the prerequisite of the enjoyment of any other right. Basic, by definition, is the right without which no other right can be enjoyed, i. e., without which any other right becomes meaningless.

As a right is a way of protecting an interest, a basic right is the protection of a basic interest, i. e., an interest which to protect is the prerequisite of protecting any other interest in a meaningful way. Those who disagree with this, engage in challenging standards of legal theory while, to my knowledge, not providing any serious counter-argument.

Sentient beings have many interests one of which is the interest in not suffering. Gary's point is that without the right not to be property, i. e., the right not to be used at all, regardless of what the treatment is like, nonhumans' interest in not suffering cannot be meaningfully protected by a right. Now, some people argue that this is possible because nonhumans have no interest in not being property, in not being used exclusively as a means to humans' end – which is precisely the point at issue between abolitionists and welfarists /protectionists. The latter deny that nonhumans have an interest in not being used for human purposes which necessarily imply killing them, i. e., they deny that nonhumans have an interest in their lives.

Gary has compellingly argued that it makes no sense to say that a being is sentient but has no interest in continuing to live, as sentience is a means to the end of staying alive, and to say that a being can feel pain without being a someone. ''In order for pain to exist, some consciousness—someone—must perceive it as happening to her and must prefer not to experience it.” (''Taking Sentience Seriously'')

Being a someone, not a something, is being a person, not a thing, and a person is the kind of being who has an interest in continuing to live. .

This is the point that the debate boils down to: Are nonhumans persons or are they not? To say they are not deems them things, since there are only these two categories. Those who support welfare regulation, whatever they claim to believe, treat nonhumans as beings who have no interest in their lives, i. e., as things.