"Animals Have No Say". This Essay Is About Animal Rights

3813 words - 16 pages

ANIMALS HAVE NO SAYIt was the winter of 1998, when my grandfather had found a tiny three-legged dark chocolate cat wandering around his house. It had been left out in the cold with no food or shelter. He brought it to my house to see if I wanted it. At my first glance at the cat I did not like it because it only had three legs and I felt sorry for it. After keeping this cat for a few weeks, and Christmas coming quickly, my mother and I decided to find who the cat's owners were and give her back as a Christmas present. We knew one of the vets in town would know because he/she had amputated her leg. When we finally found out which vet had amputated her leg, they would not give us the name of her owners, for they had abused her so badly that her leg needed to be amputated. Her teeth were chipped and she had an extra eyelid on the eye because she was beaten so badly in the face. After a few weeks and no one wanted her, my mother finally let me keep her. Animal cruelty is against the law; therefore people must treat animals with kindness and respect.According to the website entitled "All Creatures Animal Rights: Our Philosophy", All of God's creatures have rights. This is a fact that most people don't seem to recognize. Human beings and animals are both God's creatures, so they both must have rights. Animal rights are the concept of fair and humane treatment for animals. It is also defined as "moral right of animals to be treated with respect and without exploitation" ("Animal Rights", Microsoft Encarta). There is the belief that animals have rights just as human beings do.The history of animal rights began with the respect for the welfare of animals as a precept of some ancient Eastern religions. This includes Jainism, which believes in non-injury toward all living things, and Buddhism, which forbids the needless killing of animals. In the West, traditional Judaism and Christianity taught that God created animals for human use, including as food. Many Christian philosophers argued that humans had no moral duties of any kind to animals, even the duty not to treat them cruelly, because they lacked rationality or because they were not, like man, made in the image of God. This view prevailed until the late 18th century, when ethical philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham applied the principles of utilitarianism ("Animal Rights", Britannica Encyclopedia).Tom Regan states the principles of utilitarianism are two principles from the Utilitarian Account regarding on how animals ought to be treated. The first principle is a principle of equality that declares that the desires, needs, and hopes of different individuals are of equal importance or value no matter who the individuals are. The second principle is that of utility, meaning we are to act so as bringing about the greatest possible balance of good over evil (86). "Since animals have interests, their interests must be taken into account, and because their interests are frequently as important to them...

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