To date, scientists and other researchers have not been able to provide evidence of differences between human beings and animals (Wilson, 2004). Furthermore, scientists argue that the only differences evident between human beings and animals are those of “degree” and not “differences of kind” (Wilson, 2004). In this regard, it would be immoral to treat animals differently from human beings. Most opponents of animal rights justify the denial of rights such as freedom from torture and suffering by citing the high rate of intelligence of human beings.
These individuals argue that human beings are intelligent and this oјsighs the mental abilities of animals (Wilson, 2004). This argument is misleading. Human beings are not the only form of intelligent life in the natural world. Studies have been able to show that the Kook gorilla has an IQ of up to 80 (Wilson, 2004). This is just a meager 20 points short of the average human IQ (Wilson, 2004). In this regard, it would be unfair to subject these highly intelligent animals to pain and torture. Furthermore, the human intelligence argument is further disapproved by the issue of relevancy (Wilson, 2004).
Intelligence is not a relevant factor in pain and suffering. There is no scientific evidence that has been able to show a difference in the perception of pain between dumb and smart individuals (Wilson, 2004). In this manner, human beings should not assume that animals suffer and feel pain in a manner that is different from the human experience of pain and suffering. In addition to their freedom from torture and suffering, animals should not be discriminated against due to their species. Human beings tend to mistreat animals because they believe that the human species is more superior.
Furthermore, opponents of animal rights justify the harmful treatment of animals by citing the differences in species between the two. In this manner, people are commonly guilty of species. Species has been referred to as a human behavior, in which individuals hurt other animals because they are members of another species (Ryder, 2004). Different species may differ in terms of needs and reactions to stimuli (Ryder, 2004). Furthermore, something that is painful to one species may not be necessarily painful to other species. However, suffering should be treated equally amongst all species (Ryder, 2004).
After an animal has been hurt by a trap, it may suffer up to a week before it finally dies from infection or excessive loss of blood. Animals used in scientific experiments experience long hours of suffering after being experimented upon using poisonous chemicals. The various forms of suffering impacted upon animals by human beings are at times justified by the difference in species between the two (Ryder, 2004). This argument goes against the concept of evolution. According to Charles Darwin, evolution made all animal life on earth related to each other.
In this manner, both human beings and animals are all animals (Ryder, 2004). In the same way that human beings do not discriminate against their children and handicapped individuals due to their inferior mental abilities, human beings should also refrain from doing the same with animals. The truth behind human discrimination against animals is attributed to the powerful nature of the human species. Since human beings are more powerful, they feel morally justified to cause suffering and pain on other animals species that are deemed to be inferior (Ryder, 2004).
If another more powerful animal species were to come to earth and exploit human beings in the same manner, then heir actions would be deemed to be morally incorrect. It is highly unlikely that human beings would accept being put through suffering on the basis of superiority in species. The utilitarian approach is also used by many scientists to support animal rights. According to the utilitarian theory, the results of a contemplated activity matter more than the results of a rule or moral code (Francine, 2003). According to the traditional utilitarian approach, morality was measured using the level of emotions present.
For instance, morality is equated with the minimization of pleasure (Francine, 2003). In this regard, it s morally wrong to increase the pain of an individual. In contrast to this, the modern utilitarian approach places emphasis on interests. This approach is referred to as the “preference utilitarian” approach (Francine, 2003). Under the tenets of this approach, an action is perceived to be morally correct if it maximizes the interests of the parties involved. Interests include factors such as preferences and desires.
Human beings must be able to assess the consequences their actions can have on animals. They should take animal interests seriously. They should also ensure that their actions have positive unctuousness on the preferences and interests of animals. This can be achieved through animal rights (Francine, 2003). Since the consequences of an action determine its moral value, the consequences must justify an individual’s decision to pursue a particular action. In the case of animals, most human actions against them do not produce consequences that can justify these actions (Francine, 2003).
The benefits of human activities such as hunting and animal experimentation usually result in pain and suffering for the animals involved. The great amount suffering and pain cannot be used to justify these activities (Francine, 2003). In this regard, utilitarianism supports animal’s rights while condemning human activities that undermine the same. Animal rights should include the increased regulation of activities such as hunting, animal farming and science experimentation on animals. Currently there are laws that seek to protect animals.
Some of the laws include policies that prohibit pet owners from neglecting their pet. There are also anti-cruelty policies in place that seek to reduce the cruel treatment of animals (Sunniest, n/a). On the other hand, more regulation should be placed on scientific experiments that use animals as their test subjects. Policies should be put in place to ensure that all scientists give ample justifications for any experiments they conduct on human animals. The scientist must demonstrate that all these experiments are important and absolutely necessary (Sunniest, n/a).
Furthermore, they must also ensure that animals are put through minimal suffering. Furthermore, the animals in these experiments must also be well- cared for through feeding and adequate housing (Sunniest, n/a). While experimentation can be tolerated, activities such as hunting should be banned altogether. In contrast to experimentation, hunting does not have any potential benefits to human beings. People hunt for recreation purposes. As a result, hunting animals for people’s enjoyment is wrong. Unless hunting and the callous killing of animals has important functions, then it should be regarded as violence.
Animal rights should be promoted to ban this activity (Sunniest, n/a). In animal farming, animals are used for the benefit of human beings while they are still alive. In this case, animals such as sheep are reared to produce wool which is used to create clothes for human beings (Sunniest, /a). This demonstrates that animals are used in a beneficial manner. Animal rights will ensure that animal farming is conducted in a manner that reduces the suffering of animals. The conditions, under which these animals are reared, should be conducive. They should uphold the overall welfare of the animals.
The consumption of animal meat is a practice central to the animal rights debate. With regard to animal suffering most animals are transported and stored under inhumane conditions before they are eventually slaughtered for human consumption (Sunnier n/a). Due to the human reactive of meat eating, thousands of animals suffer daily so that human beings can have meat in their diets. While eliminating the practice of meat eating might be perceived as being too radical, it is the only action that could eliminate the inhumane treatment of animals in slaughter houses.
Animal rights will ensure that these animals experience minimal amount of suffering while they are being farmed and prepped for slaughter (Sunniest, n/a). Animals in the entertainment industry also tend to experience a significant amount of suffering. TO begin with, these animals are exploited by human nines for the purpose of entertainment and profit (Animal Alliance of Canada, 2004). This is evident in circuses, where animals are trained to entertain people. In return for the entertainment, circus owners reap huge profits.
In their pursuit for monetary benefits, most trainers and animal owners tend to neglect the basic necessities of these animals. As a result, these animals are put through unnecessary suffering (Animal Alliance of Canada, 2004). Most animals are prodded with electronic prods and forced to submit to their trainers by being whipped. Animal rights should be upheld by al human beings and activities such as hunting, animal testing and animal farming should either be regulated or completely eliminated. Research has been able to demonstrate that animals feel pain just like human beings do.