What Rights Should Animals Have? Essay
Animal rights as noted by Buzzle (2012) are also called animal liberation. It is a concept to ensure that animal rights are protected as equally as those of human beings. These rights are there to ensure that human beings do not harm, exploit, abuse or kill animals aimlessly. In this concept, it is illegal to use animals in any way that makes them feel pain, suffer or even die. It tries to explain to human beings that it is not a right practice to violate these rights. The concept was started in 1975 by Peter Singer in a book entitled animal liberation. It came to being after the birth of American Society for the prevention of cruelty of animals.
Animal rights have been enforced in several parts of the world today. For instance, in Germany, it was voted and included in the constitution that was in the parliament’s house. The vote was aimed at adding a simple clause in the constitution to change the way in which people treated animals in that country. It is the first country in Europe to accept constitutionally the fact that animals had some rights like fair treatment and good feeding. The same has been followed in several other continents in the world and have led to a fairer treatment of all animals with a court penalty owing to the violation thereof as discussed by CNN (2012).
According to Lafollette (n.d), there are boundaries about animals that human beings should strive not to cross as opposed to treating animals in the way one pleases. It is not legitimate to mistreat animals even though they have no voice to rise. In this culture that we are living in today, animals are used as a main source of food, clothes, and research on drugs and to test the vulnerability of some appliances at home. All these can only be realized when the animal is dead or involves inflicting pain to the animal. Animals have a right against overcrowding. This implies that an animal has a right to enough space during its lifespan. This has not been followed especially by farmers who keep them for profit. Animals also have rights to enough movement. Due to the limitations of space, animals are confided in one place leading to less feeding and poor movement. For instance, chicken are overcrowded in little battery cages. The more crowded the animals are, the more likely they are to attack each other and cause injury to one another.
In an opinion, Lafollette (n. d) adds that people should use more of vegetables to reduce the killing of animals for food. Many people hold an opinion that animals do not feel pain and has led to the killing of many animals for not only food but also for scientific research and testing. When a dog is hit by a stray vehicle, the way it convulses, bleeds, and yelps is a sure proof that animals feel pain. The same way, a cat reacts even at the small attempt to step on its tail is another proof of sensitivity of their nervous system. It becomes controversial at times because there is need for nutrients in humans that can only be found in animals and the experiments that are done on animals is vital for human survival.
As noted by Lin (2012), there are some myths that people hold about animal rights activists. One of these myths is that activist are more fond of animals than human beings. This is not the case anyway. Caring about animals does not render them more important than human beings. This is the reason as to why most animal activists are involved in humanitarian rights like hunger, poverty, sweatshops, feminism and other civil rights. Another myth is about leather materials compared to fur clothes and shoes. This is because fur can be obtained without necessarily killing the animal, but to get leather the animal has to be killed to get the skin of that animal.
According to Buzzle (2012), animal rights activists are faced with the headache of controlling the rate at which animals are killed or injured. They have worked to make known their reputation just like politicians and celebrities. They have worked to stop some meat companies against the overexploitation of animals through slaughtering and butcher business. Animal rights is just a concept, it is known to many people but the movement, well known as animal rights movement has not yet been enforced to maximum. On the other hand, there are many benefits that animals give to human beings.
Lin (2012) notes that there are issues and controversies that have come about owing to the enforcement of these animal rights as a law; some of these include human overpopulation. It is a threat to the peaceful existence of both wild and domestic animals; when people on the planet increase in number, it leads to the decrease in the space that animals are allowed to live in. In developing countries, where the population grows by day, animal health has declined due to poor feeding and little growing space. Animals have always been termed as property of the human being. This has left the human being with an allegation that they have the right to use or even abuse these animals as long as they are their property. Animals have been killed for the benefit of the human being, regardless of how trivial the case might become.
Another issue according to Lin (2012) is that of veganism and diet. This is the fight against the use of animal products ranging from meat and wool, to silk and milk. Factory farming falls under the same category as it involves a lot of cruelty to animals. The fact that human beings use animals for food and other diet related products is a violation of animal rights. Some religions hold animals with great honor and has led to such animals being protected against use, misuse and killing. Overfishing in most of the sources has led to a great deal of threat to aquatic life. When the fish is taken away from water, it certainly dies after a very short period of time, during which it goes through immense pains. Countries that are worst hit by drought have even fallen short of this important dietary component. Vivisection is a concept in the science of animal experimentation. These acts violate animal rights especially when the animal has to be killed to extract the test materials.
Most people in developed countries and a few in the developing countries keep animals as pets. Examples are the cats and the dogs. These animals are brutally killed by their owners in their shelters or just at home. Those who do not end up being killed are denied the right to proper feeding and hygiene. They are not sprayed regularly neither are their shelters cleaned. Hunting is an activity that has raised conflicts between activists and hunters. It is illegal to kill any animal for meat, regardless of where the killing is done. Fur materials, especially clothes, are warm and fashionable. The problem is the suffering that the animal goes through in the process of obtaining this fur.
Hickle (2011) seconds the allegation that animals have rights and many people have objected to this allegation. This explains the reasons as to why animals are still suffering in the hands of human beings. There is the strong belief that rights only include those to vote, to speech, to democracy and to worship. Questions have propped up about what importance these rights have to animals. It has been forgotten that animals have a right to life and to protection against any form of pain. When a cat kills rats in a store, it is not taken by humans that the cat violated the rights of the rat by killing it. These are rodents who could bring great harm to human food as well as cause illnesses in people, not counting the losses in wasted property. In the same view point, when a dog bites a kid, that is harming a human being and it is not a violation of the dog’s right if it is killed to stop any further harm to someone else.
Feinberg (n.d) puts an argument in the opposite direction by noting that animals should have no rights because they cannot reason, have no direct duties and are not responsible creatures. It is pointless arguing with an animal because of its lack of reasoning that is naturally in animals. In the same way, you cannot give instructions or directions to an animal unless it has been trained thoroughly to respond to some sign language or some human sounds. An animal cannot adapt to any environment or situation therefore has no right. Since even when rights towards an animal are violated by a human being, the animal is not in a position to file any case on its own hence there is no need for the rights in the first place.
Buzzle (2012). Animal Rights- Facts. Retrieved from
CNN (2012). Animal Rights. Retrieved from http://articles.cnn.com/keyword/animal-rights>
Feinberg, J. (n.d). The Rights of Animals and Future Generations. Retrieved from
Hinkle, B.A. (2011). Do Animals Have Rights? Retrieved from
Lafollette, H. (n.d). Animal Rights and Human Wrongs. Retrieved from
Lin, D. (2012). Animal Rights Myths and Facts. Retrieved from http://animalrights.about.com/od/animalrights101/tp/AnimalRightsFactsMyths.htm