Henry Spira

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Henry Spira (June 19, 1927 – September 12, 1998) was a Belgian-American merchant seaman, journalist and animal rights activist.

Quotes[edit]

  • If you see something that's wrong, you've got to do something about it.
  • Ethics Into Action: Henry Spira and The Animal Rights Movement by Peter Singer (1998).
  • It was very dispiriting because a lot of things needed to be done. One of the things that happened was, if you had a good rank-and-file activist in a trade union situation, they would make them an offer to become part of the staff—at which point the person was totally lost to the campaign where they were a catalyst and became part of an apparatus that was basically going nowhere. The odd thing is, despite The Permanent Revolution being on the bookshelves, they would explain everything by going back and finding a quote from Trotsky or from Lenin in order to explain things, as opposed to explaining how things were in the real world. . . . They were basically just living in their own universe as opposed to making real life connections.
  • Ethics Into Action: Henry Spira and The Animal Rights Movement by Peter Singer (1998).
  • It didn't make any sense to me, to put out a publication, to tell people about atrocities, and ask them to send money so we can tell you next month about more atrocities. Meanwhile, the atrocities keep increasing, the treasuries of tha antivivisection groups keep increasing, and it doesn't help one solitary animal.
It just defies common sense to me why people would be doing that. What's the point in giving people an ulcer, getting people upset, getting them frustrated, and telling them, what we're going to do is frustrate you next month, isn't that nice?
  • Ethics Into Action: Henry Spira and The Animal Rights Movement by Peter Singer (1998).
  • Certainly, self-righteous anti-vivisection societies had been hollering, "Abolition! All or Nothing!" But that didn't help the laboratory animals, since while the anti-vivisection groups had been hollering, the number of animals used in United States laboratories had zoomed from a few thousand to over 70 million. That was a pitiful track record, and it seemed a good idea to rethink strategies which have a century-long record of failure.
  • Ethics Into Action: Henry Spira and The Animal Rights Movement by Peter Singer (1998).
  • We identify with the powerless and the vulnerable—the victims, all those dominated, oppressed, and exploited. And it is the nonhuman animals whose suffering is the most intense, widespread, expanding, systematic, and socially sanctioned of all. What can be done? What are the patterns underlying effective social struggles?
  • Ethics Into Action: Henry Spira and The Animal Rights Movement by Peter Singer (1998).
  • There is a rich tradition to help answer this question ["What can be done?"]. It's the fight for human freedom. And the fundamental lesson is that the meek don't make it. But audacity must be fused with attention to detail, with an awareness of social attitudes, power relations and scientific possibilities.
  • Ethics Into Action: Henry Spira and The Animal Rights Movement by Peter Singer (1998).

External links[edit]

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