“However one interprets it, whatever practical, technical, scientific, juridical, ethical, or political consequence one draws from it, no one can today deny this event – that is, the unprecedented proportions of this subjugation of the animal. Such a subjection… can be called violence in the most morally neutral sense of the term… No one can deny seriously, or for very long, that men do all they can in order to dissimulate this cruelty or to hide it from themselves, in order to organize on a global scale the forgetting or misunderstanding of this violence that some would compare to the worst cases of genocide… If these images [of genocides] are “pathetic”, if they evoke sympathy, it is also because they “pathetically” open the immense question of pathos and the pathological, precisely, that is, of suffering, pity, and compassion” (408).
Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am
“It is a philosophical language in which we can discuss and debate what kind of souls animals have, whether they reason or on the contrary act as biological automatons, whether they have rights in respect of us or whether we merely have duties in respect of them.” (120)
“The irony is a terrible one. An ecological philosophy that tells us to live side by side with other creatures justifies itself by appealing to an idea, an idea of a higher order than any living creature. An idea, finally — and this is the crushing twist to the irony — that no creature except man is capable of comprehending. Every living creature fights for its own, individual life, refuses, by fighting, to accede to the idea that the salmon or the gnat is of a lower order of importance than the idea of the salmon or the idea of the gnat. But when we see the salmon fighting for its life we say, it is just programmed to fight; we say, with Aquinas, it is locked into natural slavery; we say, it lacks self-consciousness.” (151)
Coetzee, The Lives of Animals
“Silently the animal catches our glance. The animal looks at us, and whether we look away (from the animal, our plate, our concern, ourselves) or not, we are exposed. Whether we change our lives or do nothing, we have responded. To do nothing is to do something.” (38)
Foer, Eating Animals
“Now at last I can look at you in peace, I don’t eat you anymore.” Kafka