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Animal Rights Essay

Animals have a right to be free of human use and exploitation. They have an inherent worth and moral rights that should be respected.

Animals Should Have the Same Rights as Humans

Introduction

Human beings continue to go to zoos and circuses, wearing leather, and eating meat; activities all of which involve either caging or killing of animals. Animals are also kept as pets by humans and this involves the selling of animals and constructing cages for them so they may not escape. Noteworthy, all these actions have to do with the infringement of animal rights in one way or another. It is however interesting that humans never consider the impacts that these actions have on animals presumably because animals, to them, have no rights. This disregard for animal rights has even attracted court cases some of which sought to have animals viewed as persons just as humans. People should consider giving animals the same rights as human beings because they deserve it.

Animals should be granted the same rights as humans first because just like humans, they have the capacity to suffer. They feel motherly love, loneliness, frustration, fear, and pleasure depending on the situation they find themselves in. As such, it should be the moral obligation of human beings to take this fact into account whenever they consider undertaking actions that would interfere with the needs of animals. As pointed out by Bennett-Jones (2015), “Factors to consider would include the degree of an animal’s autonomy, sensitivity to pain, level of sentience, self-awareness and ability to hold preferences.” It is well deserving for animals to lead their lives free from being exploited or being subjected to sufferings. As a matter of fact, when deciding on the rights of any being, the question should be whether they can suffer and not whether they can talk or reason.

Human beings should also consider that animals have an inherent worth which in itself is completely separate from their usefulness to humans. Being living beings capable of moving, all animals have the right to life and therefore have every right not to be subjected to any kind of pain. In this regard, it is wrong on the part of human beings to presume that the sole reason for the existence of nonhuman animals is for them to be used by humans. Animals attach immense value to their lives just like humans do, and rightly so. This is why they will always try to evade danger either by defending themselves or running away from sources of danger (Smith, 2012). It is also why they go about looking for food to fend for themselves and their young ones, much like humans.

Further, there is no any morally relevant difference between human beings and non-human animals. If humans are entitled to their rights, it is only fair that animals too are allowed to enjoy their own rights. It makes no sense when human animals are granted their rights but non-human ones are denied theirs. Moreover, being ‘subject-of-a-life,’ both the human and non-human animal species have many attributes in common. They are for instance alive to the fact that they live (“Animal Rights,” 2014). There is thus no justification whatsoever why animals should be denied the rights they deserve. This point leaves human beings with no valid reason to continue trampling upon the rights of non-human animals.

Another consideration that humans should make is that their infringement of animal rights is based on prejudice that they can easily put an end to. As it is, only prejudice pushes a person into denying another person the rights that they expect to have for themselves. As noted by Smith (2012), prejudice is morally unacceptable whether it is based on species, sexual orientation, gender, or race. If humans would not eat a dog for instance, why should they eat goats? The capacity to feel pain is inherent in both dogs and goats. However, out of prejudice, humans consider one as food and the other as a companion.

Further, animals have a culture to preserve and thus killing or caging them amounts to an erosion of this culture. Just like humans, “Elephants that have witnessed the slaughter of their parents by poaching or culling and lost the support of their extended family group exhibit the same erratic and often detached behaviors…” (Siebert, 2014). Their fate resembles that of orphans of war who after losing their families and witnessing the destruction of their villages, remain to wallow in miser. In other words, all species suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Why subject another species to an experience you would not wish for yourself?

It is the belief of some people that because animals are not humans, they should not have the same rights as humans. However, as already seen, adult mammals and human animals have no morally relevant difference between them (Cavalieri, 2003). They are both animals and they deserve to be treated the same. No matter how humanely animals may be treated, killing, confining, breeding, buying, and selling them invade into their rights. It is unjust to subject one species to sufferance while fighting for the rights of another species yet morally; they both deserve respect and freedom. It is thus dishonest to assume that humans can do whatever they like with animals.

Conclusion

It is true that animals are not human beings and that is not up for debate. However, they deserve to have the rights granted to humans because they suffer like humans. They have an inherent worth given that they are animals like humans save for the difference in their species. They have the will to organize their life according to their culture which is unfortunately interfered with by humans. It amounts to prejudice to subject them to untold sufferings in the name of being turned into food or being kept in cages for whatever purposes. In this respect, it is high time humans considered championing for animals to have the same rights as humans.

References

Animal Rights. (2014). In BBC. Retrieved July 10, 2020 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/animals/rights/rights_1.shtml

Bennett-Jones, O. (2015). Should animals be given human rights?. BBC News. Retrieved 22 November 2017, from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-32854504

Cavalieri, P. (2003). The Animal Question: Why Nonhuman Animals Deserve Human Rights. Cary, NC: Oxford University Press, USA.

Siebert, C. (2014). Should Animals Have The Same Rights As People?. Popular Science. Retrieved 22 November 2017, from https://www.popsci.com/should-animals-same-rights-people

Smith, W. J. (2012). A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement. New York City, NY: Encounter Books.

Animal Rights Essay Outline

Introduction

Thesis: People should consider giving animals the same rights as human beings because they deserve it.

Body

Paragraph 1:

Animals should be granted the same rights as humans first because just like humans, they have the capacity to suffer.

  • They feel motherly love, loneliness, frustration, fear, and pleasure depending on the situation they find themselves in.
  • It should be the moral obligation of humans to take this fact into account whenever they consider undertaking actions that would interfere with the needs of animals.

Paragraph 2:

Human beings should also consider that animals have an inherent worth which in itself is completely separate from the usefulness of animals to humans.

  • Being living beings capable of moving, all animals have the right to life and therefore have every right not to be subjected to any kinds of pain.
  • It is wrong on the part of humans to presume that the sole reason for the existence of nonhuman animals is for them to be used by humans.

Paragraph 3:

Another consideration that humans should make is that their infringement of animal rights is based on prejudice that they can easily put an end to.

  • Only prejudice pushes a person into denying another person the rights that they expect to have for themselves.
  • Prejudice is morally unacceptable whether it is based on species, sexual orientation, gender, or race.

Paragraph 4:

There is no any morally relevant difference between human beings and non-human animals.

  • If humans are entitled to their rights, it is only fair that animals too are allowed to enjoy their own rights.
  • It makes no sense when human animals are granted their rights but non-human ones are denied theirs.

Paragraph 5:

Animals have a culture to preserve and thus killing or caging them amounts to an erosion of this culture.

  • All species suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Not justifiable to subject another species to an experience one would not wish for themselves.

Paragraph 6:

It is the belief of some people that because animals are not humans, they should not have the same rights as humans.

  • However, it should be noted that adult mammals and human animals have no morally relevant difference between them.
  • They are both animals and they deserve to be treated the same.

Conclusion

It is true that animals are not human beings and that is not up for debate. However, they deserve to have the rights granted to humans because they suffer like humans. They have an inherent worth given that they are animals like humans save for the difference in their species.

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