Dr. Bernard Rollin will speak at the University of Denver on Wednesday, October 2 about the increasingly-popular topic of animal rights. Rollin, a Colorado State University professor, has written six books and co-authored a seventh book on the subject over the past 30 years and was a co-author of the US Animal Welfare Act of 1985. Rollin now seeks to take the topic of animal rights to center stage and make it a mainstream issue.
The professor’s upcoming lecture bears the title: "Emerging social ethics for animals: Animal rights as a mainstream phenomenon". When it comes to animal rights, Rollin is, himself, a social bridge builder of sorts. He has academic credentials in philosophy and veterinary science. This is a combination of traits that is a bit unusual. The traditional animal rights movement usually keeps moral philosophy of non-cruelty at odds with many animal scientists.
The Dr. Rollin’s eclectic credentials reflect a new animal rights movement that is evolving to center on consumers who are conscious of health and animal cruelty. The vegan diet has become fashionable and popular, and is also getting increased backing from medical doctors, including Neal Barnard, M.D., who published books that tout the health benefits of eating nothing but plants. The vegan lifestyle continues to get more-diverse, inclusive backing from other authorities as well.
Dr. Melanie Joy, PhD, Psychology’s book entitled: “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows” speaks of every aspect of veganism, from animal rights to environmental impact and considers most meat-eating humans to be victims. The meat industry deliberately hides its practices for fear that most who eat meat would be too appalled to continue doing so, says Joy, who’s claims are substantiated with extensive interviews and analyses in her popular book. The book reflects an inclusionary, mainstream approach and is a departure from the traditionally-partisan debate on animal rights.
Rollin also aims his words at the mainstream. He lectured to ranchers, rodeo promoters and other members of the cattle industry, according to the organization Livestock Welfare. Rollin was invited to the University of Denver by the Institute for Human-Animal Connection, which is affiliated with the University’s Graduate School of Social Work. His speech will take place at University of Denver's Craig Hall Community Room from 2:00-4:00pm.
The lecture is also being promoted by A Vegan Life, metro Denver’s largest vegan social group. With over 1,000 members, A Vegan Life hosts numerous events around the metro area and was a principle organizer of Colorado Veg Fest 2013, a two-day event in Golden, CO attended by over 3,000 visitors this past July, according to group co-organizer Ann Swissdorf.