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TV Interview with Prof. Gary Francione on Changing the Conversation About Animal Use

December 12, 2013 – 

Rutgers School of Law–Newark Professor Gary Francione, who was the first to teach animal rights theory at a U.S. university, discussed the abolitionist approach to animal rights on “Breaking the Set,” an internationally syndicated program on RT TV.

The extensive interview, which starts about two minutes into the show, is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfyvnqL3fX8&fb_source=message.

Host Abby Martin began the segment declaring that since Francione began teaching animal rights more than 20 years ago, he “has been changing the conversation about sentient creatures.” The conversation that Francione encourages focuses not on treatment but on use. “The fundamental moral question,” he said, “is can we justify using animals at all, however humanely.”

When asked by Martin about cognitive differences between animals and humans, he said: “Cognitive differences matter in certain respects . . . but when you ask the question ‘Can you justify treating a sentient being exclusively as a resource?’ . . . cognitive differences are irrelevant.”

Professor Francione decried the position of animal welfare groups such as PETA “that killing an animal painlessly is not harming an animal.” As for recent outrage over video evidence of abuse at a Wisconsin dairy farm, he said: “The bottom line is that even if the dairy farm were working perfectly well and there were no abuses, it would still be a horrific process.”

Professor Francione expressed optimism in the future of the animal abolitionist movement as more people become aware of the ecological and environmental costs of animal agriculture and in the humans rights issues as well. “We’re feeding huge amounts of grain to animals that we’re going to slaughter that,” he said, “if we took that grain, we could basically feed the world.”

The RT network, with three global news channels broadcasting in English, Spanish and Arabic, reaches more than 644 million people in over 100 countries. RT America shows are available in the New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.