Gary Francione begins his new book, Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation, with the following sentence-long paragraph: “My animal rights scholarship is controversial.” Known for his staunch critiques of animal welfare, Animals as Persons draws together a number of essays relevant to the Western animal movement today. In this interview, Francione delves into the book’s major themes, including why personhood is so important, and why sentience alone should qualify one as a member of the moral community. Explaining the economic forces that underpin many animal welfare initiatives, he also discusses the way in which various organizations play into the pocketbooks of animal industries. Additionally, Francione talks about his own journey to veganism, and the development of his animal rights theory. The interview ends with a discussion of environmentalism and its sometimes frictional relationship with animal rights.
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