Animal Rights And The Food Industry

2852 words - 11 pages

Ethics 400Ethical Treatment of AnimalsThe issue of animal rights is very complex. When referring to the ethical treatment of animals, it seems as though everyone has an opinion. Some people are "meat eaters" and consume meat at nearly every meal. They may argue that this is survival and is justified; they would further argue that animals are not humans and were put on this earth for the benefit of man. Many also believe that it is necessary to use animals in medical research. They believe that testing various substances on animals may lead to finding new medical solutions, medicines, and treatments. There are also those that believe vegetarianism is "in fashion" while fur coats are no longer acceptable. When it comes to the treatment of animals, the range can vary from extreme animal haters to extreme animal lovers. The first group can be very cruel to animals and have no concern for their welfare, while the second group has more of a tendency to treat pets as equals and consider them members of the family. Things are not just black and white regarding the ethical treatment of animals, as there seems to be many shades of grey depending on the person asked. For example, my stepfather has no problem consuming range fed, antibiotic and hormone free meat products, but is adamantly opposed to the use of animal testing in cosmetic research.How are animals supposed to be treated? That is a question that has been debated by many. There are those that wonder what is the right and wrong way to treat animals. Should there be animal testing? I personally believe that it comes down to an individual's moral beliefs, and what they feel in their heart of hearts is right or wrong. "Applied ethology has a continuing interest in the promotion of animal welfare and the ethical treatment of animals used in research" (Myers, 1990)In this paper I will discuss the ways that animals are being mistreated and exploited. I will discuss the utilitarianism ethical theory, which states that one must take into consideration the interest of others. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that places the focus of right or wrong solely on the consequences or outcome of choosing one action over another. I will also discuss relativism as it relates to the ethical treatment of animals. Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration. Each person has their own point of view on how to treat animals. I generally lean towards the libertarian theory, which says each person has the right to live his or her life in any way they choose so long as they respect the equal rights of others. I don't necessarily believe animals should have equal rights, such as the right to own property, but I do believe they should have rights that protect them from such cruel and horrific treatment. Since I view animals as my friends and feel each and every living being should be treated...

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