David E. Cooper argues that honest reflection on the ways human beings treat and compare with animals encourages a doctrine of misanthropy—a negative, critical verdict or judgment on humankind or human culture, motivated by a perception that our practices and forms of life are infused with a variety of vices and failings that are both ubiquitous and entrenched. Animals and Misanthropy develops two strategies of argumentation in support of a doctrine of misanthropy, focused on criticism of our treatment of animals and on morally unfavorable comparisons between us and them. Cooper contrasts a vice-based analysis with more familiar theories and approaches in mainstream animal ethics and then surveys a range of possible responses to misanthropy, which he labels "optimism," "pessimism," and "quietism." I identify two omissions from the book's discussion, namely, veganism and a set of vices not mentioned by Cooper, consideration of which can amplify the case for misanthropy.


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pp. 66-72
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