In another series of firsts, ARZone is proud to announce that we will be conducting our first traditional written interview. Professor Richard Ryder, who coined the term "Speciesism" in 1970, has agreed to answer questions submitted by ARZone members.
This event is not an ARZone Live Guest Chat, this is an interview which will be posted in ARZone in due course.
Richard D. Ryder is a British psychologist and former parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats who came to public attention in 1969 when, after having worked in animal research laboratories, he began to speak out against animal testing, and became one of the pioneers of the modern animal liberation movement. He is the author of Victims of Science (1975), Animal Revolution: Changing Attitudes Towards Speciesism (2000) Painism: A Modern Morality (2001), and Putting Morality Back into Politics (2006).
Prof. Ryder coined the term speciesism in 1970 while lying in the bath, and first used it in a privately-printed leaflet published in Oxford that same year.
He calls his current position on the moral status of non-human animals painism, a term he coined in 1985, arguing that all beings who feel pain deserve rights. Painism can be seen as a third way between Peter Singer's utilitarian position and Tom Regan's deontological rights view. It combines the utilitarian view that moral status comes from the ability to feel pain with the rights view prohibition on using others as a means to our ends.
Prof. Ryder has been involved in campaigns to protect whales, seals, elephants and farm animals, and to ban the use of animals in the testing of cosmetics. He has a MA in Experimental Psychology and a Ph D in Political and Social Sciences from Cambridge University. He became President of the Liberal Democrats Animal Welfare Group, twice ran for Parliament and campaigned to persuade the main British political parties to accept animal protection as a serious political issue. He also founded Eurogroup - the principal coordinating and lobbying organisation for animals in the European community.
Professor Ryder welcomes the opportunity to take questions from ARZone members, which must be submitted to ARZone through Carolyn@ARZone.net or by contacting Tim Gier, Roger Yates or Carolyn Bailey via ARZone, no later than Sunday 2 January 2011.
ARZone is supportive of rational discourse and aim to provoke intelligent dialogue by presenting a diversity of guests to our members from the animal advocacy community.