In stark terms
“According to the humanist logic the presupposition of which we are trying to think through, saving a human embryo a few weeks old, destined after birth to live a short life—one day, for example—and a life of mental and physical handicap—saving such a life without the slightest future ought to come before the lives of millions, or an infinite number of living animals in full health and with a full future. Who will say that this choice really is possible or easy? Whatever reply one really gives to this question, whatever decision one takes (and these are not abstract and artificial examples, as one could show, decisions such as this are taken every day), what is certain is that in the humanist logic deployed by Lacan, the putting to death of the newborn, abandoning the newborn to its death, the failure to assist a person in danger that that represents, will be judged to be criminal and cruel, whereas the killing of billions of beasts would not be. The frontier is here qualitative and essential; numbers and time do not count. There is no “crime against animality” nor crime of genocide against nonhuman living beings.”
Excerpt From: Derrida, Jacques. “The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume I.” The University of Chicago Press, 2009. iBooks.
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