chapter  7
16 Pages

‘A Fundamental Debacle’

WithDavid E. Cooper

This chapter examines the question of whether, as Milan Kundera claims, there is something both fundamental and distinctive about the wrongs done to animals. It is argued, first, that the collective hubris and the lack of regard for animals encouraged and facilitated by agriculture and husbandry have been instrumental in the entrenchment of many human failings. It is then argued that central to our moral understanding is the conviction that there is something especially and distinctively wrong in harming creatures, including animals, that are helpless and dependent on human beings. The final section sympathetically considers the controversial analogy between factory farming and the holocaust.