“Moral Disengagement and Support for Nonhuman Animal Farming”
5.30pm – 6.30pm
About the lecture
This is the Abstract taken from Les’s recent paper of the same title.
Nonhuman animal farming, by its fundamental nature, involves a greater or lesser degree of ill treatment and oppression. Definitions of abuse or cruelty in relation to nonhumans, however, are inconsistent and ambiguous. People support nonhuman farming by purchasing its products, but the majority of people do not themselves mistreat nonhumans. How can this incongruity be explained? Any account is likely to be complex, but work in experimental psychology has identified a number of conditions that can contribute toward individuals becoming morally disengaged from abusive acts. This paper shows that a number of these conditions are embedded in the nonhuman animal farming industry, thus providing some insight into why consumers may be disconnected from the mass abuse carried out by an industry they support. Recognizing this process can help advocates for nonhumans take steps to counter this disengagement and so allow consumers to examine their ethical choices more clearly.
Link to full article: Animals & Society 19 (2011) 38-58
About Les Mitchell
Les Mitchell is the Director of the Hunterstoun Centre at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa. He is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, an advisor for the Journal of Animal Ethics and on the Advisory Board of the Palgrave Macmillan series on Animal Ethics. His research interests are critical realism, non-human animals, discourses, power in society, genocide, moral disengagement, and alternatives to violence.
Read more here: Hunterstoun Centre
If you are interested in attending please contact me at: Richard.White@shu.ac.uk