Department of Philosophy



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Alice M. Crary (New School for Social Research)

will be delivering the 

The Graham Kennedy Memorial Lecture


Seeing Animal Suffering.

THURSDAY, September 22nd, 2016

WATSON HALL, ROOM 517 @ 4:00 p.m.

This talk opens with an account Leo Tolstoy gave of his visit to a slaughterhouse in 1872. Tolstoy believed that there is something about the brutality of slaughter that we might miss even if we know the basic facts of how it happens, and he set out to write about his experience in a vivid and charged style that would open his reader’s eyes to the violence of butchering. Such writing remains immensely pertinent to contemporary discussions of animals and ethics.  This talk surveys these discussions and link them to relevant themes from Tolstoy’s fictional and non-fictional writings.  It concludes with reflections on how the sort of emotionally demanding discourse that interests Tolstoy is of decisive importance today for getting an undistorted view of what is done to animals not only in confined feeding operations (or CAFOs), industrial abattoirs, and other slaughterhouses but also in, among other places, laboratories, zoos, and natural habitats in which animals are hunted.



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