Saving Animals, Saving Ourselves: Jeff Sebo on Pandemics, Climate Change, and Animal Rights
I talk with philosopher Jeff Sebo about his new book Saving Animals, Saving Ourselves: Why Animals Matter for Pandemics, Climate Change, and Other Catastrophes. We discuss both moral and pragmatic reasons to care about other animals, then get into how we could include their interests in public health and environmental decision-making. Later, we explore tough questions like how to act when we are not sure about the consequences, whether insects are conscious, and how to include nonhumans in the democratic process.
Also, a brief word on methane and nitrous oxide (both of which are emitted by animal agriculture)--Jeff rightly points out that these cause significantly more warming per ton than carbon dioxide. The exact number one uses depends on what time period you measure the impact over, because different gases remain in the atmosphere for different lengths of time. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) website uses a 100-year time period, and puts methane at 28-36 times more impactful than carbon dioxide (even higher than what Sebo says on the podcast), and nitrous oxide at a whopping 265-298 times.
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And to follow up on some of the issues raised in our discussion:
Read about minks and the coronavirus here
Read about the French citizen's climate assembly
For more ideas on including nonhuman animals in democratic processes
For Patreon supporters at $7/month or more, our next monthly book club meeting is March 29 to discuss the animal-rights novel Barn 8. Then on April 26 we will discuss Silent Spring.