This is a twisted argument. All animals absolutely have a purpose in life. Even a tick, a blood-sucking pest, is food for birds. Those white birds standing on cattle are not mistaking the cow for an Uber driver! They are eating the ticks, which help them do their job—to drop seeds on the ground, which will grow into plants. Hawks eat carrion; sharks rid the ocean of overpopulated species; bees are absolutely necessary to the health of our crops' and dogs help the blind. It goes on and on.
The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation?
And, again, if "duty" were a criteria for rights, that would mean babies, the mentally ill, the mentally incapacitated, or the intellectually disabled would not have rights. Furthermore, although animals do not have rights, they are still subject to human laws and punishments, including imprisonment and death. A deer that eats crops may be shot and killed by a farmer under a depredation permit.
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If animals can be punished under our laws, say AR advocates, then they should also have rights under those laws. This argument is another one of those ridiculous things people say when they are out of ammo. As far as science is concerned, plants do not feel pain. Even if they did, that would put humans in the same position as lions, since we cannot live without consuming plants.
Therefore, we would be morally justified in eating plants. Also, if plants feel pain, that does not mean that eating plants and eating animals are morally equivalent because it takes many more plants to feed an omnivore compared to a vegan. Share Flipboard Email.
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Animal Rights Arguments
She previously worked for the Environmental Protection Agency. The 3 R's were first introduced in by Russel and Burch, and that stands for Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement. The 3 R's are the guiding principles for the ethical treatment of animals used for testing and experimentation. There are a wide range of ethical assessments regarding animals used in research. There are general opinions on that animals do have a moral status and how they are treated should be subjected to ethical consideration.
Some of the positions include:.
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June Learn how and when to remove this template message. Animals portal. Beauchamp and R. The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics. Oxford University Press, An Introduction to Animals and the Law. This section addresses these questions because they form part of the larger picture of the way society treats all living things—including nonhuman animals as well as the environment.
All states in the United States have some form of laws to protect animals; some violations carry criminal penalties and some carry civil penalties. Consumer groups and the media have also applied pressure to the business community to consider animal ethics seriously, and businesses have discovered money to be made in the booming business of pets. Of course, as always, we should acknowledge that culture and geography influence our understanding of ethical issues at a personal and a business level.
Rhode Island, along with Boulder, Colorado, and Berkeley, California, led the way in enacting legislation recognizing individuals as guardians, not owners, of their animals, thus giving animals legal status beyond being just items of property.
Many U. The first federal animal protection law, the Humane Slaughter Act, was passed in the s to avoid unnecessary suffering to farm animals ten billion of which are killed every year. The most important U. Finally, in the s and s, the modern animal rights social movement emerged.
It has led to an increased awareness of animal ethics by consumers and businesses. However, despite significant progress, research using animals for product testing continues to be controversial in the United States, particularly because improved technology has offered humane and effective alternatives. The use of animals in biomedical research has drawn slightly less negative reaction than in consumer product testing, because of the more critical nature of the research. Though animal welfare laws have ameliorated some of the pain of animals used in biomedical research, ethical concerns remain, and veterinarians and physicians are demanding change, as are animal rights groups and policy and ethics experts.
Increased integration of ethics in business conduct is operating alongside the desire to recognize animal rights , the entitlement of nonhuman animals to ethical treatment. Concern for the welfare of animals beyond pets brings us to the agribusiness industry. Agribusiness is a huge industry that provides us with the food we eat, including plant-based and animal-based foodstuffs. Aspects of this business with relevant and interrelated ethical questions range from ecology, animal rights, and economics to food safety and long-term sustainability Figure. However, to do so requires attention to factors such as soil and surface water conservation and protection of natural land and water areas.
Furthermore, the treatment of animals by everyone in the livestock chain e. The food chain can be truly sustainable only when it safeguards the social welfare and living environment of the people working in it. This means eliminating corruption, human rights violations including forced labor and child labor , and poor working conditions.
We must also encourage and empower consumers to make informed choices, which includes enforcing labeling regulations and the posting of relevant and accurate dietary information. For many, the ethical treatment of animals remains a philosophic issue; however, some rules about what foods are morally acceptable and how they are prepared for consumption e. More acreage might be assigned to growing fruits and vegetables relative to those given over to livestock grazing, for instance.
BBC - Ethics - Animal ethics: Introduction
Or revelations about slaughterhouse processes may reduce our acceptance of the ways in which meat is processed for consumption. The economic consequences for agribusiness of such changes are difficult to underestimate. Peter Singer is an Australian-born philosopher who has teaching appointments at Princeton University and Monash University in Australia. His book Animal Liberation , originally published in but revised many times since, serves as a sort of bible for the animal rights movement. Yet Singer is highly controversial because he argues that some humans have fewer cognitive skills than some animals.
Viewpoints about animals used in medical research are changing in very significant ways and have resulted in a variety of initiatives seeking alternatives to animal testing. As an example, in conjunction with professionals from human and veterinary medicine and the law, the Yale University Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy, a bioethics research institute, is seeking alternatives to animal testing that focus on animal welfare. Animals such as monkeys and dogs are used in medical research ranging from the study of Parkinson disease to toxicity testing and studies of drug interactions and allergies.
There is no question that medical research is a valuable and important practice. The question is whether the use of animals is a necessary or even best practice for producing the most reliable results. Alternatives include the use of patient-drug databases, virtual drug trials, computer models and simulations, and noninvasive imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans. Other techniques, such as microdosing, use humans not as test animals but as a means to improve the accuracy and reliability of test results.