Letter: Provocative philosophy behind animal rights

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YOUR FEATURE "Revealed: the nerve centre of animal lib" (20 December) was yet another example of how even quality newspapers will not discuss animal rights issues unless there is some sensational behaviour attached. No wonder certain desperate animal liberationists continue to exasperate us!

Editors have a responsibility to counter these articles with more on outstanding (often Gandhi-style) figures in this movement, a movement which, as your article points out, is seen by some as "the logical next step in social evolution". The most celebrated person to interview is Peter Singer, professor of philosophy and director of the Centre for Human Bioethics at Monash University, Melbourne.

There are also innumerable respected groups in Britain (Compassion in World Farming, RSPCA, The Vegetarian Society, Viva!, Respect for Animals etc) working with immense commitment and discipline, who all deserve your better attention.

Is it not preposterous that a reader should have to write to your columns to introduce and define the word speciesism, any more than sexism, racism or any other "ism"? Why isn't it yet common knowledge?

Heedful of the media's part-responsibility for the animal liberators' desperate actions, you might consider studying the subject of animal rights in earnest (the cool logic of Professor Singer's Animal Liberation would be a good place to start), and then challenging your amazed readers' minds with the current debates in modern philosophy.

HEATHER EVANS

Kenilworth, Warwickshire

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