Applied Ethics: Animal rights
Animal rights are the ideology that some or all animals have the right to live in their existence, with their basic importance such as the need to live a painless life. The needs of the animals should be regarded as important as those of human beings. Hence, some of the animals have a right to be treated as individuals, while having their rights and desires respected. Animal rights suggests that some things are principally wrong and doing them to animals is morally wrong. The debate in the study is one, accepting that non-human animals have rights, and two, disagreeing with the out-turns of accepting that non-human animals have rights.
Accepting that animals have rights
Accepting that animals have rights would mean accepting the following doctrines. The first is that there is no performing of any kinds of experiments on the family. The experiments inflict pain and suffering on the animals while extracting samples with needle pricks. If the equipment has some toxic substance by any chance, it could get into the internal system of the animal and cause it to immerse suffering. In worst cases, the death of the animal could be the outcome. In an experiment, almost 97% of all animals used die, as only a small fraction is returned to their natural habitats. Almost 100 million animals die annually from laboratory testing.
Secondly, there should be no zoos and places where animals are used for entertainment purposes. This is because it deprives the animals of their natural habitat, which is their right. Zoos are not as spacious as the wild. Hence, the animals are kept near other species and humans too. These environmental conditions are unnatural for the animals causing them unnecessary stress. It is inappropriate to keep the animals locked away from their habitat with the intention of either entertaining people or domesticating them. Animals also love and enjoy staying in their natural homes, where they can hunt, mate and live in peace and in private.
Thirdly, animals should not be used for hard labor since even the hard work does not benefit the animals themselves. Using animals as workers are forcing them to do physical labor, which is tiresome and painful for them. They are made to carry heavy loads, some even exceeding the limits, and are painfully whipped in the process. In some cases, they are pinched with a sharp object to make them run. Animals do not deserve this kind of treatment as it causes them pain, sadness, and fatigue. They can also sense pain to the same extent that humans do, and it hurts them. Overworking animals is a form of disrespect to them and their dignity.
The fifth reason for supporting animal rights is, animals should not be bred, either for food, clothing, textiles, or medical uses. Animals are killed in their billions worldwide for their skins, fur, meat, and medicines. Behind every animal clothing, drug or meat is an anima that suffered greatly. It doesn’t matter how humane the animal was treated in the process, but rearing animals to kill them later sounds unfair and morally wrong. It is also a violation of their rights, especially the right to live. Walking around wearing fur coats, huts and jackets show how remorseless people are for killing innocent animals.
Animals should not be hunted. They should be left to live in the wild and survive there. Most hunters leave the animals with painful injuries, where some of these are fatal and lead to death. Hunting destroys animal families, their day-to-day patterns and causes them to stress. Hunters also disrupt hibernations and migrations. For communities such as wolves, they live in packs and mate for life. Killing one of the mates can cause loneliness and great suffering to the pack members, leaving them broken and devastated. Some animals stumble on hunters’ Bobbie traps and end up scarred for life or decapitated. Others are trapped and killed by the traps, dying in a slow, painful death.
Lastly, animals have rights, and they should not be violated by selectively breeding them for any reason other than for its benefit. This procedure is very uncomfortable for the animals. It can also cause a decrease in their genetic diversity, where recessive alleles can cause an increase in genetic diseases. Also, future generations of these selectively bred organisms would share similar genes, and if there were a fatal disease, all the animals would be infected. The only times that animals can be selectively bred are when the offspring produced should have desirable qualities, such as lack of genetic deformities. This should be done only to improve the quality of the animal’s life.
Disagreeing with animals rights
Animal rights are rather very strict and even unrealistic to some extent. First, animals have no capability of entering into a contract. Therefore, they are not owners of rights and are neither entitled to any duties. This is the opposite with humans as they are the only species with duties, making them entitled to rights.
In science, we use animals to test for vaccines, what is safe for humans and what is not. Human beings cannot be subjected to any experimental test with the guarantee of safety. Hence lab animals are used. However, when animals are used as resources, they are not subjected to unnecessary suffering, contrary to popular belief. They are used because humans cannot be intentionally subjected to risky situations, and they are also greater in status than animals. Lab animals have an appreciably vital role in modern science, inventions, and innovation of vaccines and other important substances.
Food, clothing, and medicines are primary human needs, and some of them come from animals. It is not merciless to slaughter an animal for food because meat makes up a significant component in people’s diets. Protein is needed for the proper functioning of our bodies, as they aid in repairing tissues and give energy in times of starvation. A deficit can cause kwashiorkor, and it can cause death and loss of life quality. So, this is not justifiable in the name of animal rights and activism.
Additionally, animals lack the capacity to make a free moral judgment, as humans have. They are not as complex as human beings, and as they lack their capacity. This makes the animals not have any moral rights, as they do not belong to the moral community. Organisms within the moral community are superior to those not in the community. Human beings fall in the category, and they respect one another’s autonomy. They are, therefore, in control of everything else in the universe, including all animals. It is not wrong to use the animal for food and clothing, as well as protection, also keeping pets in the right conditions too.
Domesticating some animals such as cows, sheep, goats, and camels is not wrong. These animals provide us with milk, their products, and wealth. This does not mean that their lives don’t matter. That’s why they stay in their designated shelters. While slaughtering, the animal’s dignity is still preserved by not subjecting it much unnecessary pain. It is necessary for humans, as without utilizing what is in our environments, people would die of hunger.
Animals do not have a conscience. Keeping them in zoos and maintaining as a natural state as possible ensures that they live a fulfilled life. Them being kept with their species members does well to help sire more offsprings. As for the offspring born after selective breeding, they become bigger for meat and higher quality genes in the future.
In conclusion, the argument that disagrees with animal rights wins. Animals lack almost all basis for mandatory rights and are therefore not entitled. They do not know or understand the morality of situations, as they have no thinking capacity like that of humans or the ability to differentiate between what’s moral and what’s not. Humans have all control over all non-human animals and rely on them to determine in the eco-systems they live in. it’s the right thing to do when taking control of the entire eco-system
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