Gary Steiner Quotes
Gary Steiner is an American moral philosopher, and the John Howard Harris Professor of Philosophy at Bucknell University. Steiner's particular focus is animal rights, Descartes, and 19th- and 20th-century continental philosophy. He is the author of Descartes as a Moral Thinker (2004), Anthropocentrism and its Discontents (2005), and Animals and the Moral Community (2008).
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Human beings have capitalized on the silence of animals, just as certain human beings have historically imposed silence on certain other human beings by denying slaves the right to literacy, denying women the right to own property, and denying both the right to vote.
Not only are animals unable to avail themselves of language to assert their own rights, but many fewer humans have a clear sense of kinship with animals than have a clear sense of kinship with other humans. Among beings with subjective states of awareness, animals are the untouchable caste, those whom human others would rather not acknowledge, let alone render assistance.
To be ethical is to endeavor to find one's proper place in the larger scheme of things rather than to seek to assert human superiority over the natural world.