Academic Activism: Sensitizing to Sentience and Suffering

Speaker: Stevan Harnad, Professor of Psychology University of Québec in Montréal
Time: Saturday, 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM
Room: H3010

Most people would agree that it is wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering on a sentient being. There is no suffering that human beings inflict on nonhuman animals — enslavement, torture, rape, genocide — that they do not also inflict on human beings. But the difference is that it is illegal to do so to human beings, most people are aware of it, and most people are opposed to it and would never collaborate in it. Not so with with the suffering we inflict on animals, although its scale is incomparably greater. Most people are not aware of it, nor of the fact that most of it is not necessary either for our survival or for our health, and most people collaborate in it. It is academics’ duty to sensitize peers, students and society to this, humanity’s greatest iniquity, and to how we can put an end to it. Stevan will suggest some strategies.