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Animal Rights. There are many circumstances in which the subject of animal rights comes up; is it acceptable to farm animals? Should we eat them? Should we hunt and fish them? Is it permissible to use their hide as clothing?

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Introduction

Animal rights, also referred to as animal liberation, are the belief that the most basic welfare of non-human animals should be given the importance that the welfare of humans is given. There are many circumstances in which the subject of 'animal rights' comes up; is it acceptable to farm animals? Should we eat them? Should we hunt and fish them? Is it permissible to use their hide as clothing? Is it acceptable to use animals as entertainment in the forms of horse racing, zoos, circuses etc.? The most common question that crops up time and time again, however, is should we be permitted to use animals to test medicines and cosmetics on? Charles Magel once said 'Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: "Because the animals are like us." Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: "Because the animals are not like us." Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.' Humans have evolved in a very convoluted manner, and we are accorded rights on the basis that we are able to think, communicate, and feel pain. ...read more.

Middle

Hamburgers, for example, are made from cows that are diseases, disabled and dead. The meat retains the chemicals, hormones and antibiotics that are fed to cattle to accelerate growth and cause weight gain, which is then all consumed by us. Meat also works to raise our cholesterol levels and it is alleged that meat eaters are the prime targets for degenerative diseases such as arthritis and gout. Fish and other seafood is preserved using boric acid, which attacks the liver and the brain. Therefore, we are not only harming animals, but also ourselves. Then, there are the cases where we use animals to prevent harming ourselves, through animal testing. In animal testing, innumerable animals are experimented on and then disposed of after their use. Others are injured and will still have to live the rest of their lives in captivity. The upsetting thing is that many of these animals received tests for substances that will never see sanctioned for public consumption and use. It is this aspect of animal testing that many view as a major negative against the practice. ...read more.

Conclusion

They do not respect our 'rights', and they are irrational and entirely instinctual. Amoral and irrational creatures have neither rights nor duties - they are more like robots than people. All human beings or potential human beings (e.g. unborn children) can potentially be given rights, but o non-human animals fall into that category. It is perfectly natural to use animals for our own nutrition and pleasure - in the wild there is much suffering as animals struggle to survive, are hunted by predators, and compete for food and resources. Human beings have been successful in this struggle for existence and do not need to feel ashamed of exploiting their position as a successful species in the evolutionary process. The fact that we are (incredibly distantly) related to other animals does not mean that it makes sense to talk about them having 'rights'. This sort of thinking would have absurd consequences: e.g. saying that we should respect the 'right' to life of bacteria, or the 'right' of the AIDS virus to move freely and without restriction, and to associate freely with other living organisms. We might wish to reduce unnecessary animal suffering, but not because all creatures to which we are distantly related have rights. ...read more.

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