“To seek to reduce the suffering of those who are completely under one’s domination,” writes Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, “and unable to fight back, is truly a mark of a civilized society.”
According to Professor Singer, “the British House of Commons passed a motion directing the government to impose a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. The motion followed the release of undercover footage, obtained by Animal Defenders International, of a circus worker repeatedly beating Anne, an elephant. “
In the Netherlands, Jewish and Islamic communities have a year to prove that animals slaughtered by traditional methods don’t experience more pain than those stunned before the killing.
The European Union has outlawed confining veal calves in individual stalls. In six months it will be illegal in all 27 EU countries to keep laying hens in the bare-wire cages utilized by the world-wide egg industry. In January 2013, keeping breeding sows in individual stalls will also be prohibited.
Meanwhile, the United States lags behind Europe in ridding itself of the worst forms of farm animal abuse.
Peter Singer is professor of bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Ethics of What We Eat, and The Life You Can Save.