Normativity of Animal Slavery

Species and Class

By Percy Gauguin

The acceptance and practice of any custom depends on the normativity which it is invested with, and the maintaining of it as both natural and ethical is enough to keep it from becoming seriously challenged. The slaughter of animals, and their incarceration, is widely condoned by humanity as a matter even in its most humane and small-scale forms as a naturally given right. Humans are seen as naturally superior to cows, pigs, chickens, etc. and so depriving them of the freedom of life that we would like to enjoy ourselves is a sacrosanct norm which grants anyone who desires it to dispose of animals lives as they please, with only certain social restrictions. This power of normativity places certain things beyond the scope of deeply penetrating criticism and allows people to find support through conformity, because since it is so widespread it is unquestionable, and therefore normal.

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