During the past three decades, moral concern about how animals are treated has proliferated in Western societies. The leaders of the animal rights movement have been philosophers, among whom there is little agreement as to the movement's rational foundations. Peter Singer, often considered the father of animal rights, is in fact a utilitarian for whom "rights" are conceptually suspect.
As we hurtled toward Shakespeare, Ontario, I felt a familiar cold visceral tightness and fear. “Shakespeare,” I brooded. “I hope the name isn’t an omen. ‘Shakespeare’ suggests tragedy. Or worse, comedy.”