Morality is more complicated than you want it to be. The Morality is Hard podcast seeks to shed light on some of the most complex ethical issues today. Follow us on Facebook, or download our episodes on iTunes.
Rob Farquharson is a Masters of Philosophy candidate at the University of Adelaide, where he is studying the philosophical foundation of cognitive science with a focus on real world examples. His current case study is on the homing behaviour of desert ants. He is also an undergraduate tutor, and has a keen interest in moral philosophy.
We spoke about no-platforming, in particular the recent cases of this occurring against Ayaan Hirsi Ali on her trip to Australia, and Peter Singer in Canada, artificial intelligence, and wild-animal suffering.
Today I expanded on two blog posts I wrote recently, the first being about the recent United Airlines event where a customer was removed from one of their flights and about a controversial art installation coming to Tasmania, Australia. I try to show why both of these events are more complex than they first seem.
The second is about the recent announcement by the Australian Federal Government that they are considering a shark cull in response to a surfer dying to a shark attack in Western Australia. I try to show why this makes no economic sense, even if you are only concerned with Australian human lives.
Today I expanded on the book review that I wrote on The Reducetarian Solution, a series of essays on eating less animal products edited by Brian Kateman. It’s not an entirely vegan book, which may bother some people, but I think people interested in animal advocacy should know what it says to know whether to promote, support or recommend it.
Tobias Leenaert is one of the founders of Ethical Vegetarian Alternative, or EVA, which is a Belgian organisation that advocates the consumption of plant foods instead of animals.
Tobias founded the Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy, CEVA, with Melanie Joy, who you might know as the author of Why we Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows. CEVA aims to increase the impact of vegan advocacy worldwide.
I first heard about Tobias through his work on the Vegan Strategist, a blog where he talks about effect animal advocacy. He is also working on a book on vegan strategy and communication, and gives talks around the world.
Tobias and I chatted about the effectiveness and role for different types of animal advocacy.
Kieran Grieg is a research associate at Animal Charity Evaluators, an organisation dedicated to finding the most effective ways of helping animals.
Kieran and I spoke about the work that ACE is doing, and had a great discussion about a range of issues relating to how we can best help animals, including how to determine the effectiveness of an organisation or intervention, and other related causes, such as wild animal suffering.
Elie Hassenfeld and I spoke about the charity he co-founded with Holden Karnofsky, GiveWell, and how it analyses charities to determine how effective they are at alleviating suffering.
We also spoke about Open Philanthropy Project, a sister organisation of GiveWell, which started with the question of “How can we accomplish as much good as possible with our giving?”
If you’re interested in finding out how to make sure your charitable donations are having as much impact as possible, this is the interview for you.
This episode contains an audio reading of two short stories I wrote over the last few years. Each of them have an animal rights theme, but are in very different settings.
Jacy Reese and I spoke about effective animal advocacy and his new book, The End of Animal Farming.
Jacy is co-founder and Research Director of Sentience Institute, an “effective altruism” think tank researching humanity’s moral circle. His new book, The End of Animal Farming, outlines a roadmap for humanity’s upcoming transition to an animal-free food system when we will eat real meat, dairy, and eggs without animal slaughter. He has written in outlets such as The Guardian, Vox, and National Review, and presented on these topics in over 20 countries.
The Honorable Emma Hurst, MLC, was elected to the NSW Legislative Council in 2019, the second member of the Animal Justice Party to be elected to NSW government. She is a registered psychologist and has worked for several animal protection organisations. Since being elected, she has been working on legislation to help animals in NSW. In our chat, we got in to some interesting questions and tricky issues, so I really hope you’ll enjoy the interview.
COI: I am also a member of the Animal Justice Party.
In this episode I spoke with Oscar Horta about wild-animal suffering. Oscar is a Spanish animal activist and moral philosopher and is currently a professor in the department of philosophy and anthropology at the University of Santiago de Compostela. He is one of the co-founders of Animal Ethics.
We started by defining the problem of wild-animal suffering, talked about what we should do, if anything, about the problem, covered some common objections, talked about specific interventions to help wild animals and some strategies for advocacy to help wild animals.
Introduction to wild animal suffering: A guide to the issues (e-book)
Wild animal suffering video course
Animal Ethics website
Oscar Horta’s Research Gate profile
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