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The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery: Revised and Expanded Edition

Marjorie Spiegel

Top 10 Best Quotes

“It seems that the desire to oppress others is so ingrained in many humans that they readily distort even a liberating theory or concept into its inverse, creating another wall of defense against positive change. Ultimately, an unbiased observer of human behavior must conclude that most action is not shaped by theory, but rather theories are shaped to conform to actions we have no intention of changing.”

“As long as humans feel they are forced to defend their own rights and worth by placing someone beneath them, oppression will not end.”

“Women were told to keep waiting for years for their right to vote because other issues were “more important.” Black people in the United States were told that their slavery was an “economic necessity” to be continued for the good of the country. Until the reforms of the early 1990s, blacks in South Africa were still being told that apartheid was necessary. Necessary for whom? Surely not the people who were living under this form of slavery.”

“We have decided that treatment which is wholly unacceptable when received by a human being is in fact the proper manner in which to treat a non-human animal.”

“We cannot maintain that oppression is fine for some simply because they are not like us. Only through a rejection of violence and oppression themselves will we ever find a long-term “freedom and justice for all.” It is not an “either-or” situation; the idea that one group will have its rights protected or respected only after another “more important” group is totally comfortable is finally being widely recognized as a delay tactic used by those resisting change.”

“To those who would be master, what matters is not so much who their slaves will be, but that there are slaves to be had. As one group becomes off-bounds due to changing laws or the tie of social change, attention will be turned to a different weak group, or focused more intensely upon a prior class or victims. But even this shift comes begrudgingly, for the oppressors have come to enjoy their cruel pleasures. The most important things to masters, therefore, is that the public will not become cognizant of what is being done – often in its name – and that public opinion will not turn against them, thus depriving them of their slaves.”

“The ox,, as the Greeks used to say, was the poor man’s slave; and even the poorest tinker had a dog at his heels on which to bestow the kick which indicated his superiority. – Keith Thomas”

“The owner of slaves destroys two freedoms – that of his slave and that of himself. – John Bryant”

“The only relevant requirement which should be necessary to keep us from unnecessarily inflicting pain and suffering on someone is that individual’s ability to feel pain and suffer. Similarly, the only qualification individuals should need to make it wrong for us to dominate their lives is that they possess life, that they are alive. All of these other questions of abilities and attributes can fill philosophy books, but are, for these issues, irrelevant.”

“The habit of claiming that God, or some higher order, has ordained our barbaric or avaricious practices is obviously not new; nor, quite obviously, is it outdated. When someone wants to take slaves, gold, land, someone else’s cattle, or, for that matter, to draw a salary for administering electric shocks to infant rats, it is certainly convenient to say that God or Evolution makes it right.”

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Book Keywords:

slavery, animal-rights, human-rights, human-nature, veganism, animals

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