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.
This article examines the problematics of the legal position of pet animals as a special category of the objects of law. The subject of this research is the Convention of the Council of Europe for the Protection of Pet Animals. Despite the spread of humanistic principles and ideology of care for the nature, there is currently an insufficient amount of effort given to the problem of the category of pet animals. Within the framework of this research the author discusses the positions that substantiate the specificity and significance of this area within the modern legal system. The authors conduct a theoretical analysis of the legal sources of European Law, as well as Russian and foreign scientific literature. This work presents the key positions of the legal regulation of handling pet animals in accordance with the “European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals” passed by the Council of Europe. The authors note that the pet category possesses special qualities in comparison to others. This area is falls under a special legislation, which still remains at the stage of development in the Russian Federation.
The book addresses one of the most relevant issues on the current social agenda – the building of an inclusive society. It covers income, gender and age equality, disability rights, immigrant and language minority rights, inclusive education, body positivity and animal rights. The book is based on up-to-date authentic texts (official documents, newspaper and magazine articles, public speeches) and contains a system of exercises aimed at enhancing communication skills, expanding vocabulary and developing analytical and critical thinking skills.
The book is targeted at graduate students of the foreign language faculties.