When: Friday September 2nd :17.30-19.00 hrs
Where: The Keynes Library (room 114), Birkbeck, University of London. The Keynes Library is in the School of Arts, 46 Gordon Square. It is building 13 on the central London map that you can find here: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/maps; see also http://www.bbk.ac.uk/arts/about-us/our-building-and-arts-spaces/the-keynes-library
About the book
Many people object to the consumption of animal products from the conviction that it inflicts pain, suffering, and death upon animals. This book argues that a convincing ethical theory cannot be based on these important concerns: rather, it must focus on our interest in human health. Tending to this interest demands not only that we extend speciesism—the attribution of special significance to members of our own species merely because they belong to the same species as ourself—towards nonhuman animals, but also that we safeguard the integrity of nature.
In this light, projects that aim to engineer the genetic material of animals to reduce their capacities to feel pain and to suffer are morally suspect. The same applies to projects that aim to develop in-vitro flesh, even if the production of such flesh should be welcomed on other grounds.
The theory proposed in this book is accompanied by a political goal, the ‘vegan project’, which strives for a qualified ban on the consumption of animal products. Deckers also provides empirical evidence that some support for this goal exists already, and his analysis of the views of others—including those of slaughterhouse workers—reveals that the vegan project stands firm in spite of public opposition.
Many charges have been pressed against vegan diets, including: that they alienate human beings from nature; that they increase human food security concerns; and that they are unsustainable. Deckers argues that these charges are legitimate in some cases, but that, in many situations, vegan diets are actually superior.
About the author
Jan Deckers has taught and researched at Newcastle University (UK) since 2001. He developed his specialism in bioethics while obtaining a PhD from the University of St Andrews (Scotland) and degrees in philosophy, religious studies, and theology from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium).
Participation is free, but registration is required as places are limited. You can register here: http://forms.ncl.ac.uk/view.php?id=10604