Letter: Rationalists on the run

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The Independent Online
Rationalists

on the run

Sir: Roger Scruton ("Herbie taught me, then I ate him", 3 July) imagines he only has to make a sweeping assertion ("animals obviously have beliefs and feelings, but they cannot have rationality") for it to be incontestable. He regurgitates any number of trite cliches about animal rights campaigners being proto-fascists and communists and thereby convinces himself he's being incisive and, above all, rational.

One statement reveals the feebleness of his logic: "Let it be said that there is a moderation and control in human unkindness of which nature knows nothing". Does he know nothing of Rwanda, Bosnia, Pol Pot, the Stalinist purges, the First and Second World Wars? Nature (by which Mr Scruton means animals who aren't farmed or otherwise controlled by human beings) was never so maliciously and wilfully intemperate.

And he would have us believe that broiler chickens are spared the ravages of nature by being crammed into windowless sheds 40,000 at a time - where a large proportion die slowly from disease and starvation. "" like Roger Scruton are on the run because the world is shifting under their feet and they don't know why or how to stop it. Their panicky theses - rich in ornate abstraction, semantic word-plays but little else - are the clearest evidence.

ANDREW TYLER

Director,

Animal Aid

Tonbridge, Kent

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