Engaging and thought-provoking, this book examines how humans see and treat other animals and argues that we should extend equal consideration and respect to all beings, human and nonhuman alike.
Our world is plighted by ‘isms’ such as racism and sexism, but we may have overlooked a very important one: speciesism. Speciesism is a form of discrimination against those who don’t belong to a certain species. It drives us to see nonhuman animals as objects, rather than individuals with their own interests and with the ability to feel and suffer. This book questions all of the assumptions speciesism is based upon. It raises many challenging questions over humans' very complicated attitudes toward other animals. Thinking about how animals are used as well as the suffering of wild animals, and what the future may be for all beings, this book calls for society to seriously take into account the interests of all animals.
For all who care about animals, or simply how to make the world a better place, this book is essential reading.
Table of Contents
1. Speciesism: a form of discrimination
2. Feeling and suffering
3. Harming animals
4. Making the connection
5. Living without exploiting animals: questions and answers
6. In defense of animals!
7. Conclusion: making a stand for a better world
Oscar Horta is an animal activist and moral philosopher at the Department of Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), Spain. He is one of the co-founders of the organization Animal Ethics. He is particularly known for his work on the concept of speciesism and the moral consideration of nonhuman animals, as well as on wild animal suffering.
"Clearly written, powerfully argued and thoroughly researched, this book launches a major challenge to the current speciesist paradigm, accompanying its reader along the exciting path of a personal transformation which cannot but foreshadow a commitment to a larger social transformation."
Paola Cavalieri, Philosopher and author of The Great Ape Project: Equality Beyond Humanity.
"Making a Stand for Animals is a powerful plea for a radical change in our attitudes to animals, and in the way we treat them. I hope it will be widely read and that many readers will act on Oscar Horta's suggestions."
Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University, USA and author of Animal Liberation.
"An inspiring and ideal book to recommend to those who are beginning to walk the path of animal liberation, or to those who are totally unaware of it and wish to approach the subject. Written in an agile and easy-to-understand way, it provides simple and convincing arguments for the defense of animals, going through all possible approaches. Definitely, a book not to be missed!"
Alexandra Navarro, National University of La Plata, Argentina, Director of the Latin American Institute of Critical Animal Studies.
"Oscar Horta's arguments are creative, inspirational, well-aimed at popular debates, and well-formulated to catch the attention of people being awakened to these issues, willing to learn more, and intellectually curious as well as morally concerned."
Steve Sapontzis, Professor emeritus, California State University, USA, and author of Morals, Reason, and Animals.
"Making a Stand for Animals is a powerfully written and easily read book that highlights the most pressing issues of animal protection and the necessity to extend the legal protection to the voiceless. The book sheds light on the very important issue of speciesism, which is oftentimes skipped or not drawn attention to. Both animal rights activists and experienced lawyers and professors will find the book very inspiring."
Lu Shegay, Managing Director of the Institute of Animal Law of Asia.
"In his excellently argued book Making a Stand for Animals, Oscar Horta presents a comprehensive analysis of speciesism and outlines how we can most effectively change the plight of animals – both domesticated and wild ones. His accessible book is a must-read for anyone interested in the question of what we owe to animals."
Angela Martin, Department of Philosophy, University of Basel, Switzerland.
"Oscar Horta's arguments are convincingly lucid and accessible enough for enthusiasts who are either inquisitive or sceptical about the justification of making a stand for animals. An interesting and compelling read, it rejuvenates the pursuit of hope for nonhuman animals."
Adewale O. Owoseni, Department of Philosophy, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
"This well-written, accessible book makes a powerful case for ending the exploitation of domesticated animals. It’s also the first book of its kind to seriously discuss the incredibly important problem of wild animal suffering. Wild animals need our help, too, and the animal rights movement needs this book."
Kyle Johannsen, Trent University, Canada and author of Wild Animal Ethics.
"Oscar Horta makes a compelling argument for expanding our moral circle to include all sentient beings. His accessible and witty book does not only outline what this implies but is itself a prime example of a growing movement in academia that is no longer content with discussing ideas but actually aims to inspire real-life change towards a better world. Highly recommended."
Jens Tuider, Philosopher and International Director of ProVeg.
"Making a Stand for Animals is a stimulating and illuminating introduction to animal ethics. It offers a highly accessible and engaging reading for newcomers as well as an insightful approach for readers with more experience thinking about the topic."
Núria Almirón, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain and Co-Director, UPF-Centre for Animal Ethics.
"Though there are many introductions to animal ethics, Oscar Horta has managed to craft something new. This book offers a host of carefully constructed thought experiments, reflections on the importance of shaping the far future, a helpful frame for pursuing activism, and much more—enriching discussions about animals in or beyond the classroom."
Bob Fischer, Texas State University, USA.
"Horta’s writing combines the logic of a professional philosopher with the engaging style of a work of fiction. His arguments are lucid and compelling; the descriptions of industrial animal harms are vivid. Not all will agree with Horta’s conclusions – the vast majority of humans consume animal products. But sentience, and avoiding speciesism, demand that we should be challenged by his ideas to rethink our own practices.
Steven P. McCulloch, Senior Lecturer in Human Animal Studies, University of Winchester, UK.
"Making a Stand for Animals explains why concern for nonhuman animals is a matter of justice, and why adopting veganism leads to a more favourable environment to help dismantle speciesist prejudice. With a clear writing style, logical structure and plenty of useful citations, this book has wide appeal. It will introduce and inspire a wide range of new readers to this important subject and motivate seasoned vegans and animal rights activists to revisit, further explore and debate issues on the scope of our moral duty to other animals."
Jeanette Rowley, Founder of the International Vegan Rights Alliance.