Peter Singer

Born in 1946, Peter Singer is an Australian philosopher and activist who has taken interest in ethical and political issues. In 1975 he wrote his most well-known and influential book Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals, which was a manifest against animal abuse and torture in scientific research and in animal farms. This work highly contributed to the development of animal rights, since Singer believes that all beings who can suffer or have pleasure must have their interests taken into account. Also interested in social and political causes, in the aftermath of the 1971 Bangladesh cyclone he wrote a very influential essay entitled Famine, Affluence, and Morality (1972), where he argues that men have moral obligations towards each other. Indeed, he believes that whether one is near or far another person in suffering or poverty, one should help. Thus, there is a duty of charity in order to prevent pain if possible. Singer does not preach without practice. He himself donates an important part of his income to help poor and distressed people. For his thinkings he has been given many honors, and in 2004 he was declared the Australian Humanist of the Year.


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