I’m beginning to get convinced, especially given Derrida’s later seminars, that perhaps his most prominent legacy for the next decade or so will be his writings on animals. He corrects well for that terrible interview in Positions with Jean-Luc Nancy (“Eating Well”) in which he talks about carniverousness, then labels it open to critique, and then says, oh well, I eat meat, too. Here’s Scu’s juxtaposition:
Roberto Esposito, in his Bios, p. 130.
More than ‘bestializing’ man, as is commonly thought, it [Nazism] ‘anthropologized’ the animal, enlarging the definition of anthropos to the point where it also comprised animals of inferior species. He who was the object of persecution and extreme violence wasn’t simply an animal (which indeed was respected and protected as such by one of the most advanced pieces of legislation of the entire world), but was an animal-man: man in the animal and the animal in the man.
Before I get any further, I was wanted to share with your Derrida’s wonderful reply to Roudinesco, p. 68.
The caricature of an indictment goes more or less like this: “Oh, you’re forgetting that the Nazis, and Hitler in particular, were in a way zoophiles! So loving animal animals means hating or humiliating humans! Compassion for animals doesn’t exclude Nazi cruelty; it’s even its first symptom!” The argument strikes me as crudely fallacious. Who can take this parody of a syllogism seriously even for a second? And where would it lead us? To redouble our cruelty to animals in order to prove our irreproachable humanism?