Идеология сострадания и защита прав животных в фильме Шона Монсона «Земляне»
In this paper, I offer a reading of Shaun Monson’s documentary Earthlings to analyse ideological assumptions and philosophical contradictions the arguments for vegetarianism presented in this film. I approach the documentary using the concept of the social contract between the film and the viewer. The contract includes the following three statements: firstly, the process of film perception leads to a particular emotional reaction; secondly, this reaction implies that the viewer takes on a particular ethical stance; thirdly, this ethical stance becomes a precondition for action. The film’s authors naturalize the connection between these three positions.
In addition, I analyse the philosophical assumptions that form the basis of the argument for vegetarianism. Those assumptions are the following: the differences between animals and humans are not relevant for ethics and appeal to fact can lay the foundation for ethical imperatives. I argue that the first assumption is logically wrong and that the second assumption contains hidden speciesism even though it is supposed to combat it. I also argue that the film’s authors propose the viewer no detailed description of alternative attitudes to animals while those explanations are able to help the viewer to take an ethical stance and act accordingly regarding currently accepted ways of dealing with animals.
The paper is based on the research that was funded by the Faculty of Philosophy of the National Research University Higher School of Economics in 2013.