Unlike Thomas Aquinas, Francis of Assisi was a friend of animals. True to his adopted name, Pope Francis seems to be a friend of animals too. At least, that is the hope of Peter Singer whose persuasive arguments have given weight to the animal rights movement and changed the eating habits of many professional philosophers. (According to a 2012 poll, professional philosophers are 10 to 20 times more likely to be vegans than the general population and 8 to 10 times more likely to be vegetarians.)
In this Project Syndicate piece Singer argues that Pope Francis has made "the strongest statement against harming animals ever made by a pope in a document as authoritative as an encyclical."
What do you think about the status of non-human animals? Do we humans have "dominion" over the animal kingdom? Do we have "stewardship" over it? Or should we go as far as Singer and give equal weight to the suffering of all sentient beings regardless of their species?
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