Animal rights remain a hotly debated topic across the world. Compassionate people worldwide are trying to ensure that animals are not discriminated against. For centuries, human beings have been exploiting, abusing, and killing animals because they have been seen as inferior. But now, with the animal rights movement growing quickly in popularity, people are beginning to see that animals deserve fair treatment. The rights humans want are different from animals’ rights, but the goals of both human and animal rights movements are similar.
What are animal rights?
Because they are not human, we treat dogs and other animals differently than we do people. Their cognitive and emotional capacities are much lower than our own. But if humans deserve rights, shouldn’t we extend some of those rights to animals? Some people misunderstand the point of the argument for animal rights, saying, “Cows don’t need to vote,” as though that is what activists really mean when they talk about animal rights.
The importance of animal rights
Animals deserve to be treated with respect, and their interests should be considered when humans use them. The principle of equality states that all persons are entitled to equal consideration and respect. It is unjust to discriminate against a being based on the species to which they belong. The argument for animal rights rests on recognizing animals as sentient beings that possess the capacity for experience.
What it means to protect animal rights
Animals are not our playthings. We can’t use them, abuse them, or hurt them because we can. For animals to be treated justly means to give them the rights they deserve over their bodies and minds. Given this, we should ban abusing or killing them for entertainment or food for profit. This would make our society a much better place for all its creatures.
Violation of animal rights
Animals are violated every day. They are bred to become food, fur coats, or pets. Sometimes, they’re even used as entertainment. Animals suffer in laboratories, circuses, and the pet trade industry. The list is endless. For instance, animals are bred in horrific conditions to be our food source. They are kept in cages or tanks where they can barely move, and most of them will never see the sun or feel the grass beneath their feet before they are killed.
Animal welfare vs. animal rights
Animal welfare and animal rights are different approaches to the issue of animals’ moral status. Animal welfare asks that we make working conditions for animals more humane, while animal rights ask that we abolish all use of animals by humans. Ultimately, regardless of which approach you identify with, it’s important to support the rights of animals.