Monday, 11 June 2012

Peter Singer Appointed to the Order of Australia

I was thrilled to wake this morning to learn that Prof. Peter Singer has been appointed to the Order of Australia.

A well deserved honour in my opinion.

Peter Singer rose to prominence with the publication of his 1975 classic Animal Liberation

Often referred to as the bible of the animal rights movement, Animal Liberation has been through numerous re-prints and remains one of the first books I recommend to students who wish to learn about animal protection concepts. 

Peter Singer has achieved much since 1975. He has been a prolific author, theorists, commentator and philanthropist. His website has raised $65million since its inception, all based on individuals pleading to donate a proportion of their income to those less well off. He also continues to support many animal charities, including Animals Australia who undertook the investigation into live animal exports publicised on 4 Corners last year. 

Over the past 40 odd years Peter Singer has faced considerable criticism, including from animal advocates in Australia and elsewhere. I find that conflict disappointing and somewhat disheartening. Although Peter Singer's views may not be shared universally among the animal protection community, my opinion is that he has done much to promote an enhanced moral status for nonhuman animals. My observation is that many animal advocates who criticise Peter Singers' work have not in fact read much of it. A comprehensive list of his work is available here. Much of which includes free links to the text. 

In February this year is was my great honour to have Peter Singer launch my book Animals, Equality and Democracy. Peter Singer is pictured here with Glenys Oogjes at my book launch held at the University of Melbourne. The photo was taken by the team at Fair Projects

While the Queen's Birthday Honour List is so often filled with former politicians and sports people, it is wonderful to see an ethicist, particularly one who has done so much for animals, named. 

Congratulations Peter Singer.

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