Animal Rights Essay

1379 words - 6 pages

“Animals with rights must be treated as ends in themselves, they should not be treated by others as means to achieve their ends.” (Francione) An idea opposing to Immanuel Kant’s beliefs. Animals are apart of the moral community, their intrinsic worth justifies this, and causes for certain rights to be established to uphold their worth within the community. To not respect the welfare of nonhuman animals, and to provide special treatment for humans, goes against Peter Singer’s ideas for a harmonious community, and instead showcases speciesism. The established thought that has been shown through the ages that certain races are more superb than others is the continuous downfall of nations and inhibits progression.
There is much disagreement as to whether non-human animals have rights, and what is meant by animal rights. There is less disagreement though when it comes to agreeing on the overall thoughts humanity has of allowing animals to have rights. This view in which humans have for animals more than likely stems from the Bible. The idea was established through St Augustine’s teachings, "by a most just ordinance of the Creator, both their [animals'] life and their death are subject to our use." St Thomas Aquinas taught that the universe was constructed as a hierarchy in which beings at a lower level were there to serve those above them. Human beings we’re above animals in this hierarchy they were entitled to use animals in any way they wanted. With such jurisdiction, humans’ have created their moral community and have excluded animals from it. Francione stated;
“Our inclination to disregard the moral worth of other animals must be examined in light of the principle of utility and the ideal of equality rather than our particular cultural prejudices. Once we do so, most utilitarians maintain, we will find that these prejudices cannot be rationally justified but are merely the outgrowth of ignorance and tradition”
With the hundreds and thousands of domesticated animals, how can it be denied that animals are apart of the moral community? Human’s have bred various animals and have created them to be tamed and made fit for a human environment. Yet every year animals are discarded, tossed to the street to defend for themselves. Abused for the purpose that human’s see fit for them. Tortured for amusement or for the needs of scientific findings. None of this is acceptable. They always say “dog is a man’s best friend” yet due to speciesism, “a prejudice or bias against certain beings simply because of their membership in a particular group” (pg. 252, Boss). “Man’s best friend” is only considered to be the “best friend” when it’s convenient. Animals have walked beside humans since the beginning of time. In Genesis 6:19-21, the story of Noah and the Flood, God tells Noah,“19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of...

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