During the past three decades, moral concern about how animals are treated has proliferated in Western societies. The leaders of the animal rights movement have been philosophers, among whom there is little agreement as to the movement's rational foundations. Peter Singer, often considered the father of animal rights, is in fact a utilitarian for whom "rights" are conceptually suspect.
As we hurtled toward Shakespeare, Ontario, I felt a familiar cold visceral tightness and fear. “Shakespeare,” I brooded. “I hope the name isn’t an omen. ‘Shakespeare’ suggests tragedy. Or worse, comedy.”
A young man was working for a company that operated a large, total-confinement swine farm. One day he detected symptoms of a disease among some of the feeder pigs. As a teen, he had raised pigs himself and shown them in competition, so he knew how to treat the animals.
Support the Christian Century
The Century's work relies primarily on subscriptions and donations. Thank you for supporting nonprofit journalism.