Over the weekend, The New York Times suffered backlash and reports of canceled subscriptions after publishing an op-ed by Bret Stephens, a conservative “never Trumper,” who questioned elements of the orthodoxy on climate change.
What’s odd is that the rage on display this weekend was nowhere to be seen a couple of weeks ago when the same page ran an op-ed co-signed by Peter Singer, recently keynote speaker at the Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) “Future of Food” conference and author of the manifesto Animal Liberation, that defended bestiality and the actions of convicted rapist Anna Stubblefield.
Stubblefield was working with a 30-year-old man with severe physical and mental disabilities in an attempt to help him communicate. She claims that he began communicating with her at a high level, that they fell in love, and then they began to consummate their relationship. His family claimed that was impossible and the state brought a case against Stubblefield that resulted in her being sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Singer argues that if one accepts the prosecution’s premise that the victim is “profoundly cognitively impaired,” then he would be incapable of understanding the ramifications of sex. Singer goes on to make the claim that, since the victim probably didn’t fight, then it is likely that “the experience was pleasurable to him.” So, then, what harm or wrong has occurred?
This argument echoes his case for the legality of bestiality from 2001, which can be distilled to the idea that if an animal is not physically harmed and does not resist, then the action should be legally permissible. It should be noted that these same justifications are often used by rapists and their apologists in cases where a victim is intoxicated.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, Singer has argued that “killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all.”
HSUS bills itself as a “mainstream” group that speaks for many Americans. Yet its own leadership provides a platform for Singer and lavishes him with effusive praise such as “few have done as much good as” Singer. With Singer as their guiding light, it’s just another example of how extreme the leadership of HSUS is.