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Book Chapter

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The current interest in treatment towards animals goes beyond the focus of isolated instances of brutality and encompasses the advocacy of significant changes in our traditional attitudes toward animals. In one year (1980) an estimated 2,054,281,000 hogs, beef, lamb, and poultry were raised on farms and slaughtered in the U.S.* (Agricultural Statistics 1981), and 1,653,385 laboratory animals were used by facilities registered with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA 197 4). Adding to this the number of related animal industries such as textiles, farm equipment manufacturing, cosmetics and drug industries, restaurants, and groceries, it is easy to appreciate the broad spectrum of changes which would result from significant changes in our relationship with animals. Since all individuals have an interaction with animals, at least by the animal products they choose to purchase (or not to purchase), there has been a proliferation of viewpoints concerning the treatment of animals. This paper will primarily consider Peter Singer's arguments presented in his book, Animal Liberation (1975), because it is a popular thesis which is objective and logically derived.