(Q) Other species do great things for us. For one, they teach us lessons and give us food for thought.Citing Q, she says my view is that "we owe animals because they do us favours." I was mystified, because Q doesn't sound much like me, let alone like the ultimate thesis of my book.
(I'm also mystified by her assertion that I arrive at Q from "cobbled together anecdotes from Marc Bekoff and others." In fact, the book contains not even one anecdote from Marc Bekoff--not one! And it does contain many chapters filled with philosophical argumentation. But never mind...let's talk about Q.)
I've now found the passage. It's on p. 163 of chapter 9. The topic of the chapter is endangered species--a secondary topic (that's why I postponed it until the next to last chapter). The passage is in a section about the view that other species are valuable because of what they do for us--a view I call Protagorean (after the Greek philosopher who claimed that man is the measure of all things). Q is a sentence within indirect quotation. As in: according to the Protagorean view, it's important to preserve endangered species because _______. There are two pages of explanation, including Q.
Not only is Q in indirect quotation, so not to be attributed to me as my own view, but I explicitly express misgivings about the Protagorean account of why species matter.
Try as we may to give depth to the Protagorean view of species, it is inevitably a view with limits. By definition it can’t say that tigers matter because tigers matter: they are intrinsically good, and add to the good of the world. This thought gives everyone a reason to care about endangered species, and gives the activist the strongest inspiration. But we do well to pay attention to the Protagorean reasons as well. In our most hard-headed moments, we may find ourselves not quite sure a varied world is really the best world, or just the one we like best.Let's think this through slowly and carefully. Would it make sense for a reviewer to use Q to capture the ultimate conclusion of my book? Um, no, it wouldn't. Let us count the ways. (1) Chapter 9 doesn't deal with the main issue of the book--what we owe to individual animals. (2) Q is within indirect quotation--it states another view, not my own. (3) I outright distance myself from that view, instead of endorsing it.
And now for the kicker. (4) The book contains many "summing up" paragraphs, none of which sound remotely like Q. In fact, here's one three pages before Q--
If we want to do right by individual animals, I’ve argued, it’s important for us to pay close attention to the sort of capacities that mark their kind. These capacities garner admiration and esteem, and ultimately respect. We must see what makes a chimpanzee different from a squirrel, before we can know our respect must be greater for the chimpanzee. We must see the difference between dolphins and tuna to see that there’s a problem with killing tuna by any method, but a special problem with methods that accidentally kill dolphins as bycatch. A decision whether to use mice or dogs in an experiment (if the experiment is to be done at all) can’t be made well unless we grasp the differences between mice and dog.No, Animalkind doesn't say "we owe animals because they do us favours." And that's just problem #1. There are numerous other outright errors in her description of my book, all explained in a letter I've sent to TLS. I'm frankly shocked by the carelessness of this review.