Thomas Lepeltier
Born (1967-01-04) 4 January 1967 (age 54)
NationalityFrench
OccupationScholar, essayist, writer
Websitethomas.lepeltier.free.fr

Thomas Lepeltier (born 4 January 1967) is a French independent scholar, essayist and science writer specializing in the history and philosophy of science and applied ethics, known in particular for his contributions to the field of animal law. He is the author of several philosophical works on animal ethics such as L'imposture intellectuelle des carnivores ("The Intellectual Deception of Carnivores") and of science history books including Darwin hérétique ("Darwin Heretic") and Univers parallèles ("Parallel Universes"). Known initially as a science historian, he now mainly advocates in defense of animals in the French media.

Life and work

Following the completion of a PhD in astrophysics in 1994, Lepeltier taught in Newcastle, Toulouse, and Paris,[1] he focused his research on the history and philosophy of science.[2] He later discovered animal ethics and developed an interest in veganism after reading Charles Patterson's Eternal Treblinka.[3] Lepeltier published La Révolution végétarienne ("The Vegetarian Revolution") in 2013, in which he explores the history of slavery abolition[4] and argues that the "struggle for veganism will eventually succeed as the struggle against human slavery did".[5] He became an Associate Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics in 2019.[6]

Lepeltier has been called upon to debate animal ethics several times on French television,[7] radio[8] and forums.[9][10] Lepeltier is also the author of several works attempting to deconstruct the discourses justifying the use of animals, he mobilizes on these occasions a wide variety of arguments from the three major currents of normative ethics, whether it is a question of recalling the definition of speciesism according to Peter Singer,[10] that the theories of the social contract do not impose (like babies) to be able to respect duties in order to have rights,[10] or that it is cruel to deprive animals of their lives for the personal pleasure gained by eating them.[11]

Lepeltier is also a regular contributor to the French popular science magazines La Recherche and Sciences Humaines[12] and is an editor of and writer for the French-language antispeciesist journal L'Amorce ("The Primer").[13]

Philosophy

Lepeltier's philosophy is antispeciesist; he considers that the species to which a living being belongs is not in itself a relevant criterion of moral consideration and that in particular, the mere fact of belonging to a particular species cannot in itself justify that an animal can be killed to, for example, serve as a meal.[14]

Particularly interested in the analysis of the speeches of French-speaking intellectuals, Lepeltier considers that "most say or even write anything to justify their consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products" and that "unfortunately, in a media world complacent, no one denounces this bad faith of professionals, this silence of politicians and this ineptitude of intellectuals".[11] He has sometimes been criticised for his condemnation of all breeding (without distinction between industrial and non-industrial varieties) and his use of analogies with human slavery or The Holocaust.[8][15]

Lepeltier has distinguished himself within the French animalist movement, as a defender of interventionism in favor of reducing the suffering of wild animals. He believes that our lack of responsibility for the fate of wild animals should not make us indifferent to their fate; we should, he says, worry about wild animals and think of solutions to alleviate their suffering.[16] Lepeltier has also engaged with the predation problem, arguing that predation is something that humans should work towards preventing.[12]

Publications

As author

As co-author

As editor

References

  1. ^ "Notes on the Contributors". Angelaki. 10 (2): 169–171. August 2005. doi:10.1080/09697250500475744. ISSN 0969-725X. S2CID 214614666.
  2. ^ "About the Authors". Journal of Animal Ethics. 10 (1): 98–100. 2020-04-21. doi:10.5406/janimalethics.10.1.0098. ISSN 2160-1267. JSTOR 10.5406/janimalethics.10.1.0098.
  3. ^ Gondawa, Lili (2013-02-08). "Un philosophe végétalien: Thomas Lepeltier" [A vegan philosopher: Thomas Lepeltier]. Vegactu (in French). Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  4. ^ Ricard, Matthieu (2016). A Plea for the Animals: The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion. Boulder, Colorado: Shambhala Publications. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-8348-4054-6.
  5. ^ Chauvet, David J. (2018-04-01). "Should cultured meat be refused in the name of animal dignity?". Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. 21 (2): 387–411. doi:10.1007/s10677-018-9888-4. ISSN 1572-8447.
  6. ^ "Appointment of New Fellows". Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. 2019-04-19. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  7. ^ "Tambour Battant - Végétalisme, véganisme, quel sens ont ces choix de vie?" [Tambour Battant - Vegetalism, veganism, what meaning do these lifestyle choices have?]. Demain.fr (in French). 2019-01-11. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  8. ^ a b Les défis des Grandes Gueules: Didier Giraud face à Thomas Lepeltier [The challenges of the Grandes Gueules: Didier Giraud against Thomas Lepeltier] (in French), RMC, retrieved 2020-07-29
  9. ^ "Il est navrant de constater que des universitaires dénigrent l'antispécisme de manière expéditive" [It is heartbreaking to note that academics denigrate antispeciesism in an expeditious manner]. Le Monde (in French). 2018-07-10. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  10. ^ a b c Bonnardel, Yves; Lepeltier, Thomas (2019-01-15). "L'antispécisme face à ses contempteurs" [Antispeciesism in the face of its contemptors]. Libération.fr (in French). Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  11. ^ a b Lepeltier, Thomas (2018-11-07). "J'accuse! Lettre aux carnistes" [I accuse! Letter to carnists]. L'Amorce (in French). Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  12. ^ a b "Dr Thomas Lepeltier, PhD". Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. 2019-04-19. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  13. ^ "L'Amorce, un projet collectif". L'Amorce (in French). 2018-06-24. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  14. ^ "Antispécisme: "Nous réclamons des assises nationales de la question animale"" [Antispeciesism: "We demand a national meeting of the animal question"]. Le Parisien (in French). 2019-05-26. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  15. ^ Mathey, Nicolas (2014-01-21). "Adieu veau, vache, cochon, couvée?" [Farewell calf, cow, pig, brood?]. L'Humanité (in French). Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  16. ^ Lepeltier, Thomas (2018-11-07). "Se soucier des animaux sauvages" [Caring about wild animals]. L'Amorce (in French). Retrieved 2020-07-29.