Yet elsewhere the arguments in “How to Love Animals” are arresting. After pondering which sea creatures feel pain, Mr Mance rules that mussels, clams and oysters can be eaten in good conscience. He argues that cows raised for beef have better lives overall than those on dairy farms. It is usual to condemn trophy-hunters who cross continents to shoot lions, but “if anyone wants to stop wasteful killing for pleasure, they should focus on farming.”
As Mr Mance travels from the fishing ports of northern Spain to a Polish hunting lodge, he encounters plenty of strange ideas. Some activists believe seats in parliament should be reserved for people representing the interests of domesticated animals. Others recommend editing wild species’ genes so that they no longer harm other creatures with which they share habitats. There is apparently a case for letting captive elephants communicate with their counterparts in other zoos, through a device nicknamed the “Elephone”.
No shortage of evangelists insist that technology will improve the lives of animals. Mr Mance is sceptical, concluding that restraint will achieve more than ingenuity. Even if his best line is borrowed from Martin Luther King —“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”—he is a skilful writer who never shies away from painful stories, and leavens even the grimmest episodes with humour. He also has a rare ability to couch strenuous ethical arguments in terms that are warmly familiar.
1/2 1 2 下一页 尾页