Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Episode 55: Interview with Professor Gary Steiner about the history of animal ethics in the West, whether Christianity can lead to veganism, and why postmodernism cannot protect animal rights

This week, I am pleased to present my interview with Dr. Gary Steiner, professor of philosophy at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. Much of Gary Steiner’s work has focused on the moral status of animals in Western philosophy. He is the author of many academic papers and four published books, including Anthropocentrism and its Discontents, Animals and the Moral Community, and Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism. His fifth book, which will be published later this year, will be titled Felt Kinship: The Historical Pretensions of Reason and the Moral Status of Nonhuman Animals.

In this interview, Gary speaks about the history of the moral status of animals in the Western world, and we discuss whether Christianity can lead to animal rights and veganism. After that, Gary tells me about his book Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism, explaining why the philosophy of postmodernism fails to establish the clear moral principles that are necessary in order to achieve justice for nonhuman animals. Then he outlines a philosophy of animal ethics that we could embrace instead. Finally, we discuss whether there is hope that we could achieve a vegan world.

During the interview, I read an excerpt from Volume 1 of The Keys to Freedom by Leo Tolstoy, translated into English by Walter Richmond. Gary told me about Pope Francis's 2015 papal encyclical, Laudato Si', which can be read here. The Christian scholar I mentioned in the show was Rynn Berry, who said on an episode of Go Vegan Radio with Bob Linden that the word "fish" was a mistranslation of what could more accurately be described as "relish".

It was a fascinating discussion. I hope you can tune in!

At the end of the show is the song "Sixth Commandment" by Dr. Aryan Tavakkoli.

How to listen to this episode

There are two ways you can listen to this episode.

  1. Listen to the episode on CKCU FM's website at
  2. Listen to or download the podcast from at

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Go vegan, stay vegan, and let's remember to stand up and speak up for animal rights today and every day. Thanks for listening to the show!

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