To be a utilitarian means that you judge actions as right or wrong in accordance with whether they have good consequences. So you try to do what will have the best consequences for all of those affected.
In most of the world, it is accepted that if animals are to be killed for food, they should be killed without suffering.
When fish experience something that would cause other animals physical pain, they behave in ways suggestive of pain, and the change in behaviour may last several hours.
Several countries – among them Austria, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, India, Israel and Sweden – ban or severely restrict the use of wild animals in circuses. In Brazil, a movement to ban wild animals from circuses started after hungry lions managed to grab and devour a small boy.
Scholars have long dreamed of a universal library containing everything that has ever been written.
I believe that nationalism is a very strong force, but there are other forces operating; there are tendencies pushing towards a larger picture, especially in Europe, I think; but I still think nationalism is real.
Even in non-democratic countries, people have a legitimate interest in knowing about actions taken by the government.
Without in any way minimising the economic and psychological blow that people experience when they lose their jobs, the unemployed in affluent countries still have a safety net, in the form of social security payments, and usually free healthcare and free education for their children. They also have sanitation and safe drinking water.
I am not saying that factory farming is the same as the Holocaust or the slave trade, but it’s clear that there is an immense amount of suffering in it, and just as we think that the Nazis were wrong to ignore the suffering of their victims, so we are wrong to ignore the sufferings of our victims.
If we can put a man on the moon and sequence the human genome, we should be able to devise something close to a universal digital public library.