Many philosophers have disagreed as non-human animal rights are concerned. Some argue that animals have no rights and are generally abused and mistreated, while other environmental ethicist recognizes the need for animal rights. The arguments are based on the fact that these animals can also feel pain just like humans. Animals and other living organisms such as rats, among others, have received little consideration as their lives are concerned. Often, we oppress these species and subject them to demanding tasks besides improper feeding diets and watering. Nowadays, environmental ethicists and veterinary departments are striving in their power to create a fair world that considers animals’ rights and wellbeing. The department has developed some ethical codes that govern the treatment of non-human animals to protect and conserve these species, which would go to extinction if not guarded. Therefore, this paper outlines why animals should be entitled to rights just like human beings.
The modern animals’ rights movement that we have witnessed on the globe is built from Peter Singer’s arguments that he put across a long time ago. Animals, too, deserve rights and should be taken care of besides proper treatment. Although animals belong to a different species, their existence in our environment plays a vital role and enhances our wellbeing. Hence, we are expected to treat and consider their rights when arriving at ethical decisions. The decisions that we make should not interfere or subject the animals to adverse conditions or situations that impact them negatively. Although wild beings such as dogs, cows, and other animals are considered inferior compared to humans, their lives still matter and have to be treated accordingly. Moreover, I do not support Singer’s idea of not eating non-human animal meat. God himself gave the mandate and granted the right to eat animal flesh as a food source (Fuentes 78). I agree with him that animal rights are to be protected and treated right the same as humans.
Singer’s arguments have significantly influenced many individuals directly or indirectly how they see the animal status in the world. The idea of animal rights has further been reinforced with Singer’s notion of utilitarianism. In his concept of utilitarianism, Singer argued that all living things should be treated equally, and no being should regard themselves as superior to others. The idea maximizes individual preferences and satisfaction. Singer was devoted to utilitarianism and later developed alternatives such as vegetarian love to curb the killing of animals for food (Said 6). Moreover, he claimed that animals have sensory nerves such as pain receptors and experiences pain. Therefore, his main concern was subjecting animals to severe pain during slaughtering. To curb these injustices to animals, Singer advised people to turn to vegetables or plant-based foods. Singer viewed and trusted utilitarianism as the key to creating a better and fair world where both human and animals’ rights would be considered.
Singer’s utilitarianism suggested that non-human animals should not be excluded as moral consideration is concerned. With this argument, Singer calls for better treatment of all living beings in terms of diets, unnecessary hatred towards these animals, and the right to provide good shelter for domestic ones. The analysis of Singer’s idea also suggests that animals must be subjected to a better medical examination just like humans seek medical attention not only when we are sick but for inspection. Singer advocates for animals’ sentiency, and he calls for adherence and respect for them. The argument put forward by Singer claims that all living organisms can feel pleasure and pain (Yew-Kwang). As such, both animals, just like human beings, have their preferences interests like desires and wants, which humans must identify and consider. Hence subjecting domestic animals to farm burden and experimentation is unjust.
Singer used the idea of speciesism where he claimed that all beings are equal regardless of the species. He believes that humanity’s superiority against non-human animals is void and should take care of God’s divine creation. Singer further likens speciesism to modern racism, where race has divided humans into distinct groups based on skin color. His comparison gave one race more consideration more than the other instead of having a fair debating ground. He also found that humans have found pride and treat non-human animals without considering the consequences of their actions. In his statements, he says that if there is a possibility that a being suffers, there is a moral need to consider that pain. Regardless of the being, he holds that humans should treat animals as they treat themselves (Fuentes 80). Moreover, Singer further explains that no moral justification would be needed if a being cannot suffer. But as long as a being suffers, humans must consider ethical considerations as non-human sentience is concerned.
Autonomy plays a vital role as animal obligations are concerned. Most philosophers go against Singer’s utilitarian concepts by arguing that non-human animals have no self-consciousness and cannot be guided with valid reasons. According to Said, animals are not autonomous as such a categorical imperative does not apply as animal lives and wellbeing are concerned (p.7). Moreover, non-human animals are not beings, therefore not capable of responding or exercising the claim. This fact explains why animals have no rights and justify animal treatment in society. This claim suggests that the right holders must possess the capacity to comprehend laws, rules of duty that govern all, a quality which non-human animals do not have. Although non-human animals cannot understand laws and obligations guided with reasons, the fact remains that all living things can feel pain; and due consideration should be taken as their suffering is concerned.
In conclusion, animals, just like human beings, should also be entitled to rights. Following the philosophers’ arguments, animals’ sentiency makes them feel pain, and it is an unjust act to subject them to severe suffering. For this reason, the superior being is expected to guard and protect the non-human animals by considering the consequences of their actions as animal lives are concerned. With the prone animal injustices, animal rights are necessary to protect and prevent humans who cruelly treat animals for no apparent reason. As such, the government should develop laws that govern animal handling in the community in collaboration with the veterinary departments.
Fuentes, Mauro Leonel. “Animal Rights: An Approach to The Rights of Nature in Ecuador.”. Derecho Animal. Forum Of Animal Law Studies, vol 11, no. 3, 2020, pp. 78-90. Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona, Web.
Said Castagno, Krizia. “Animals as Sentient Beings in The Political Constitution Of Mexico City.” Derecho Animal. Forum Of Animal Law Studies, vol 8, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1-7. Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona, Web.
Yew-Kwang, Ng. “Utilitarianism: Overcoming the Difficulty of Interpersonal Comparison.” SSRN Electronic Journal, 2019. Web.