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The rights of animals refer to the humane treatment that man should give to animals based on ethics and protection against abuse and exploitation. There has been an ongoing debate on whether it is ethical to use animals to carry out scientific research medical experiments. Whether to argue for or against these experiments, it is without a doubt that in the process of determining the cost-benefit test the animals will have to bear the cost such as death, pain, and distress. The benefits of this action include the gathering of new knowledge and discovery of new medical therapies for human beings. However, every creature created by God is entitled to a right to live. God created sufficient resources on the earth to accommodate and gather for the need of every living being at the same time without having to infringe on the rights of others. Animals form a vital part of the earth’s ecological system, and they have ultimate rights to eat and live freely. There is a common discourse among the animal rights activists who seek to protect animals from brutality, work overload, starving, hitting, and save the endangered species. Therefore, it is imperative to recognize the need to endow the animals with their rights as they deserve. The paragraphs that follow will present the discussion regarding animal rights.
The earth is full of various kinds of animals, some are docile and can be tamed by humans as pets while others are ferocious, and therefore they can only live in the wild environment. Although tamed animals have an advantage of being looked after by rational human beings, they sometimes suffer in the hands these people. People tend to think that animals have no feelings as humans do, which a complete fallacy. People who have a passion for the wildlife usually go into the homes of these animals to capture and keep them in a social surrounding. This act is against the blueprint of God and the rights of animals. The reason is that animals were created and given a natural habitat, which is suitable for their survival and wildlife interactions. Thus, when wild animals are removed from their natural homes and kept as pets interfere with their usual way of life like eating habits, mating, and may face irregular sleep patterns (Rowlands 79).
People who are concerned with the welfare of animals have gone an extra mile to create documentaries and movies that try to educate us that we may realize the rights of animals. Animals are unique creatures which have feelings and emotions only that unlike man, animals lack wisdom, but all other aspects of life are the same. These creatures, just like human beings, can feel hunger, thirst, anger, pain, fear, joy, and playfulness. Although religious books like Bible for Christians gave man dominion over the animals, it does not provide men with the opportunity to mistreat and harm them. Christians, for instance, emphasize treating them gently and taking good care. Animals can benefit man in many different ways, such as transportation, safety, hunting, and to plow. These advantages that man derives from animals should compel them to provide basic needs like shelter, quality food, and water.
Arthur Schopenhauer et al. (763) quoted “The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
Since animals can feel pain like a man, it is not okay to cause an irritating feeling into their bodies in any form like hitting or beating. Many communities across the world rear animals in their homes and they use them as possessions and source of wealth. These people typically show ownership by putting distinct marks on the bodies of these animals. This practice is very painful because it involves the use of hot and sharp objects and the wound may take quite a long time to heal. The act is cruel and violates the right of animals to retain their original likeness and power to be joyful. There are alternative ways such as collars and tags that the people who claim ownership of these creatures can employ instead of inflicting excruciating pain. The ecological system can never be as beautiful as it is without these animals, and therefore they should be loved and treasured at all cos (Berlatsky 98).
There is widespread use of animals like rats and monkeys for scientific experiments that mainly benefit human beings. These animals go through a lot of stress when being handled, confined, and isolated which change their mental stability. The right to freedom of these wild lives is taken away, and the manipulation that they are put through may introduce acquired characteristics which are foreign to the zoo. Research has shown that the drugs and other substances that are injected into the animals so that a medical test can be carried out leaving considerable side effects. David Salsburg (214) found out that seven out of nineteen chemicals that cause cancer in man caused cancer in mice when the substances were ingested. Therefore, in the process of trying to solve problems that face humans, people find themselves causing harm and even death to animals. This is not right; it is an injustice to creatures and a denial of the right to a healthy life and to live.
It is crystal clear that animal rights have limits, unlike human rights. The reason for this is that man is the one who came up those rights, and he also was given power since creation to control other creatures. In this case, the rights of non-human animals are limited at the expense of the well- being of human beings. It is morally wrong to sacrifice other humans to be used as a specimen for scientific experiments, and so, this situation which endangers the life of a man justifies the need to limit the right of animals. However, there has to be a guideline that legally checks the humans from infringing too much on animal rights. Animals cannot speak for themselves and are defenseless. Thus, people are needed to help in enforcing the rights, and punitive measures should be meted to those that either ignore or break those laws. Besides, the animal rights have to be accompanied by a show of compassion to these creatures to do justice to them adequately.
The most significant act that violates animal rights is taking their lives away by killing. Albeit this act could do well to humans as a source of food, there should be regulations on the process of killing so that the animal does not feel the pain. In this way, people who will eat the meat will know that the product is out of a kind act and not cruelty. Every government should compel all the institutions of learning within their jurisdictions to teach the laws on animal rights. In so doing, people will create awareness all over the world, and the heinous acts against animals will be minimized. People who used to infringe on animal rights will be forced to seek alternatives like a vegetarian lifestyle and introduction of a ban on practices such as factory farming, cosmetic testing on animals, and circuses.
People have different perceptions and attitudes to the animal rights depending on factors like cultural beliefs, religion, geographical location, age, and level of education. God had a purpose for creating both animals and humans, and all were intended to live in harmony to balance the ecological system.
In conclusion, it is imperative to realize that animals too have rights to enjoy. The ecological system is balanced by the presence of the animals, the vegetation, and the human beings and it is expected that all will live harmoniously. Just as humans have rights, animals too should be accorded the chance to enjoy their rights. The use of wildlife to carry out medical research is beneficial only to humans and cause harmful effects to animals. Therefore, this practice should be regulated because it violates the rights of animals. Laws on animal rights should be enacted and enforced to protect animals from mistreatment. Taking care of the animals will ensure that the posterity will benefit from the beautiful ecosystems that we now nurture and protect.
Berlatsky, Noah. Animal Rights. 2015.
Rowlands, Mark. "Tom Regan: Animal Rights as Natural Rights."Animal Rights, 2009, pp. 58-97.
Salsburg, David S, and D S. Salsburg. Statistics for Toxicologists. M. Dekker, 2009.
Schopenhauer, Arthur, et al. The Basis of Morality. Dover Publications, 2012.
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