Back to Blog
As “the meat paradox” has manifested, many express love and care toward other animals whilst consuming animal products. Indeed, many identify as “animal lovers”, whilst participating in practices that harm the objects of their love. This epitomizes what I call “the love paradox” – a phenomenon, wherein one destroys one’s beloved. This contradiction between love and destruction requires that we pay attention to what we mean by “love”. What is “love of animals”? In my talk, I introduce different philosophical takes on love and explore their moral consequences in the context of animal and environmental ethics. I also investigate the political and cultural underpinnings of love, and explore how they influence love's scope and content (often in anthropocentric ways). The underlying thesis is that talk of love faces the risks of overt sentimentalism, paradoxes and superficiality, but that when approached comprehensively, love can be a radical political affect, capable of motiving also vegan worldviews and the shared flourishing of species.
(Department of Philosophy, Contemporary History and Political Science, University of Turku)