Peter Singer, AC
Peter Singer is an Australian moral philosopher whose 1975 book Animal Liberation became a world classic and foundational text for the animal rights movement, inspiring generations of activists and concerned consumers to question how animals are treated, and to work to improve their conditions. In addition to numerous books exploring ethical questions, he is co-author with Jim Mason of Animal Factories and The Ethics of What We Eat, and the editor of a collection of essays called In Defense of Animals. He is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne.
In 2000 Singer was inducted into the United States Animal Rights Hall of Fame, and in 2012 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for "eminent service to philosophy and bioethics as a leader of public debate and communicator of ideas in the areas of global poverty, animal welfare and the human condition."
Singer is also the co-founder of The Life You Can Save, a nonprofit devoted to fighting extreme poverty. His most recent book is Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter.
For our conversation, Henry and I met Peter Singer at his office at Princeton University, just before the 2016 fall term began. It was a bright day with periodic passing clouds that from time to time dramatically darkened the room as we spoke; nature's cinematography at work.