Animals & Ethics
Maria Hernandez Park, Brooklyn
I would like us to gather to discuss our relationship with animals. Under the heading of “ethics,” I hope we can reconsider how we, as individuals and as a society, treat animals, and raise as a question what justifies the vast difference between the quality and protection of life afforded to those who call themselves humans, and the relative lack of dignity of those we choose to call animals. In raising these questions, I hope that we will be able to address some of the following issues that have determined, consciously or unconsciously, the structure of this relationship: how have the traditions of Western thought (especially Judeo-Christianity and Greek thinking) defined the human/animal relationship? What is an animal? Does anything distinguish humans from animals, or is “animal” only a pseudo-concept deployed for the purposes of subjugation? And what about the animal we ourselves are?