AR Philosophy > Morality Index
Letter to Editor, NY Times: Morality and Animals
Morality and Animals

AUG. 20, 2015

To the Editor:

Thank you for noting the cognitive dissonance that finds many Americans lavishing love on tens of millions of dogs and cats, even as we allow the grotesque slaughter of close to nine billion farm animals a year (“Exposing Abuse on the Factory Farm<>,” editorial, Aug. 9).

There is no moral difference between abusing and eating a pig or a dog, a cat or a chicken. In fact, as your editorial points out, our pets are generally treated well and have legal protections, while farm animals are treated horribly and have virtually no protection from abuse.

So if one’s goal is to cause the least possible cruelty to animals, it would actually be ethically preferable to eat a well-treated dog or cat rather than an abused chicken or pig. The choice for all of us who oppose cruelty is clear: We should not be eating any animals.



The writer is director of policy for Farm Sanctuary, a farm animal protection group that is a plaintiff in the Idaho court case discussed in the editorial.

Bruce G. Friedrich
Director of Policy & Engagement
Twitter<>, cell: 202.306.2020, Selected Works<>

Connect with Farm Sanctuary:
Facebook<> | Twitter<> | YouTube<> |<>

"The problem is that we keep assuming that there is a point at which we became human. This is about as unlikely as there being a precise wavelength at which the color spectrum turns from orange into red. The typical proposition of how this happened is that of a mental breakthrough — a miraculous spark — that made us radically different. But if we have learned anything from more than 50 years of research on chimpanzees and other intelligent animals, it is that the wall between human and animal cognition is like a Swiss cheese."

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