All of us, whether vivisector or vegan, have been subject to mechanisms undercutting sympathy for animals. How long and to what extent we submit to these mechanisms is not a matter of rationality: to cut off our feelings and support animal exploitation is rational, given societal expectations and sanctions; but to assert our feelings and oppose animal exploitation is also rational, given the pain involved in losing our natural bonds with animals. So our task is not to pass judgment on others' rationality, but to speak honestly of the loneliness and isolation of anthropocentric society, and of the damage done to every person expected to hurt animals.
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From a nonpatriarchal metaethical standpoint, however, Singer's and Regan's theoretical similarities are as significant as their differences. In particular, both Singer's utilitarian theory and Regan's rights approach are developed within a framework of patriarchal norms, which includes the subordinatin of emotion to reason, the privileging of abstract principles of conduct, the perception of ethical discussion as a battle between adversaries, and the presumption that ethics shoudl function as a means of social control.
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