The rights of animals
The Biblical story was insightful to the effect that man was "given" — or, in natural law, we may say "has" — dominion over all the species of the earth.
And, if the theory were extended further from conscious living beings to all living beings, such as bacteria or plants, the human race would rather quickly die out. The issue is not whether animals should have the same rights as people, but whether we have a right to use and exploit them for our purposes, however, frivolous they might be.
One person may find that their own pets are more important to them than a stranger on the other side of the world, but that doesn't give them the right to kill and eat that stranger.
There are many rights that are entirely irrelevant to animals, such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to vote, the right to an education and so on. The basic principle of equality does not require equal or identical treatment; it requires equal consideration. She was also vocal in her opposition to experimentation on animals.
Particular species only get relevant and useful rights - so animals don't get all the rights that human beings get. No other animals or beings possess this ability to reason, to make conscious choices, to transform their environment in order to prosper, or to collaborate consciously in society and the division of labor.
Animal rights supporters believe that it is morally wrong to use or exploit animals in any way and that human beings should not do so. Animal welfare supporters believe that it can be morally acceptable for human beings to use or exploit animals, as long as: the suffering of the animals is either eliminated or reduced to the minimum and there is no practicable way of achieving the same end without using animals.
List of animal rights
If we should ever discover and make contact with beings from other planets, could they be said to have the rights of human beings? The basic principle of equality does not require equal or identical treatment; it requires equal consideration. In our beautiful world, surely animals have the right to live a life free of pain and suffering. Broome did organise and chair a meeting of sympathisers in November where it was agreed that a Society should be created and at which Broome was named its Secretary but the attempt was short-lived. It would surely be absurd to say that the wolf is "evil" because he exists by devouring and "aggressing against" lambs, chickens, etc. One person may find that their own pets are more important to them than a stranger on the other side of the world, but that doesn't give them the right to kill and eat that stranger. He consulted with the president of the RSPCA in London, and returned to the United States to speak out against bullfights, cockfights, and the beating of horses. Animals had to be approached as physiological entities only, as Ivan Pavlov wrote in , "without any need to resort to fantastic speculations as to the existence of any possible subjective states. It is our responsibility as inhabitants of this planet to ensure all living things, most certainly animals, are protected and we do this as it is our responsibility to ensure future generations are handed the proud and responsible care of our ecosystems, which include our companion, work, wild and food animals.
The question is not, Can they reason? Duties are also not good criteria for rights holding because individuals who are incapable of recognizing or performing duties, such as babies or people with profound disabilities, still have a right not be eaten or experimented on.
Animal rights history
We use it here only because if you read the literature of animal rights you will encounter it often, and it's important to know what it means. A fundamental error, then, of the advocates of "animal rights" is their failure to identify — or even to attempt to identify — the specific nature of the species man, and hence the differences between human beings and other species. If animals do have rights then there are certain things that human beings should not do to animals, because doing them would violate the animal's rights. Inter-species survival is a matter of tooth and claw. Therefore, non-human animals do not have moral rights. But be careful: this method of choosing alternative courses of action is not utilitarian, it doesn't necessarily lead to choosing the course of action that produces the greatest overall happiness. Throughout most of the twentieth century, changes in jurisprudential thought regarding animal abuse have been minuscule. In general, the term "animal rights" is the belief that humans do not have a right to use animals for our own purposes. By the time of Bergh's death in , nearly all states had passed laws against animal cruelty.
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