*Editor’s Note* – I received this email from a reader and due to their request have withheld the name. That should in no way detract from the information provided or lead someone not to honestly consider the questions asked.
In light of the suspicious deaths of Sam Mazzola and Terry Thompson,
I think, eventually, there will be established a connection between a human death and the AL movement.
I am reading Animal Liberation by Peter Singer 1976 right now.
And I put my lawyer hat on.
Singer is a trained philosopher, not a scientist or lawyer, which does not stop him from assuming the position of an authority on science and on law, especially when discussing rights for animals.
Singer’s reasons for believing in what he calls sentience in animals is not well founded when one takes into account that Descartes discredited the notions of the day some 360 years ago that human like abilities in animals explained animal behavior. In my words, Singer attributes a human-like ability in animals to feel pain therefore they have the ability to suffer which should, they argue, entitle animals to rights. That is the central tenet of animal liberation.
Singer, irresponsibly in my opinion, uses the words pain and suffering almost interchangeably despite the fact that he admits proving animals feel pain is not possible. Obviously suffering entails emotion for pain can occur without suffering. So, he appeals to kind of a layman’s so-called common sense approach using only one hypothetical involving a dog to, quite inadequately in my opinion, dispense with all of the decades of work and healthy skepticism of Descartes, the father of modern philosophy, who discredited kooky ideas of the day. Descartes and Galileo separately discredited the idea that the earth was flat, for example.
This 1976 book does not address, I have not seen it yet in this book anyway, a reference to civil disobedience.
Civil disobedience in distinguished from military action. Civil disobedience can include all civil crimes all the way up to murder. Lying to a legislative committee for example is small potatoes compared to say burning up a bunch of cattle trucks.
Wearing my lawyer hat got me to thinking.
Could some of Singer’s discussions about civil disobedience in other writings of his be a direct proximate cause of damages caused by the acts of a third person, for example a self-described animal liberation soldier? If so, what kind of liability could Singer face? Any? None? Has he ever retracted any of his writings? The piece of Singer’s I saw on civil disobedience, as I remember it anyway, struck me as a scholarly discussion between the author and the reader of breaking the law, warning the reader before breaking the law or committing civil disobedience, the reader must understand the consequences of the criminal act and accept that risk. In other words, I was personally struck by my personal thought that the discussion made criminal acts thinkable, something a person could deliberate and carry out knowing full well that prison could result. In this discussion with Dawkins the well-known atheist, Singer makes plain that his talk his philosophy of animal liberation is not theoretical, it is real.
These are some of Singer’s more controversial positions.
Usually, a defendant in a civil suit can be shielded from liability by the acts of a third party who commits crime that results in damages because the law presumes people will obey the law. But here we have a unique situation where the alleged criminal actor was taught how to think about committing crime to liberate animals by committing civil disobedience, by causing damages to people, to animal owners.
Gerry Spence argued successfully strict liability as shown in this short synopsis.
3. “The Wyoming-based Gerry Spence claims that he routinely feels a “fear in the pit of my stomach” about not doing justice to his clients’ cases. In reality, Spence is an intimidating and overweeningly confident attorney who uses a common touch and baritone drawl to his advantage. “I win because I understand my own fear and can therefore poke my thumb into the fearful gut of my opponent,” he says. Consider the famous Karen Silkwood case. Whistleblower Silkwood died in a 1974 car accident en route to meeting a reporter to discuss alleged mishandling of plutonium at a Kerr-McGee plant where she worked. Spence represented Silkwood’s family in a suit accusing Kerr-McGee of needlessly exposing her to dangerous radiation. He successfully argued that, because plutonium is extremely hazardous, the common-law principle of strict liability (i.e., no showing of negligence required) applied, just as it would for someone keeping wild animals. Spence’s refrain: “If the lion got away, Kerr-McGee has to pay!” [Emphasis added]
For entertainment purposes only, and asking the following academic and purely hypothetical question: Are Singer’s writings a direct proximate cause to the letting loose or creating or motivating, in a manner of speaking, extremely hazardous animal liberation soldiers or others, who are committing acts of terror on animal owners and businesses such that strict liability applies?
And separate and apart from all of the above, at what point does burning a bunch of cattle trucks in concert with a movement not constitute some sort of form of non-state terrorism that simlarly destroyed the Twin Towers…………