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Animal Rights Philosophy Essay Sample

Is it wrong to cause animals pain? Is it morally wrong? Do animals have rights? Some pain is instrumentally good, like pain that alerts us of ailments. What kinds of pain are bad to cause? Why is it different to cause pain to humans rather than to do so to other animals? Ken thinks that humans have projects and goals, and so it is wrong to cause them pain as it interrupts their projects. John introduces Lori Gruen, professor at Wesleyan. Even if we admit that killing, say, puppies is wrong, does that mean we should say killing slugs is wrong? Gruen thinks this sort of question trivializes the issue. John distinguishes between sensation and consciousness.

Gruen says that killing animals for food is morally acceptable if there is no other way to get food. Is eating chickens that are raised under acceptable conditions morally all right? Ken asks if talk about rights gets used too much. Does rights talk get used instead of substantive moral arguments? By what principles do we distinguish which creatures have moral worth and which do not? Dogs and apes have emotions. Does this influence their moral status?

Are there different kinds of pleasures and pains that we should distinguish morally?  Mill thought so. How do we evaluate the relative weight of various pains and pleasures? Ken objects saying that he could structure his whole life around one sort of pleasure, say, fishing. Shouldn't that weigh more heavily for Ken than for someone else who thinks it is frivolous? Ken says that it is contingent if someone dislikes killing things and that there is a tendency to project one's dislikes to moral claims. Does utilitarianism view eating meat that as intrinsically bad? Gruen does not think so.

  • Amy Standen the Roving Philosophical Reporter (Seek to 05:00): Amy Standen interviews Dr. Elliot Katz, veterinarian and head of an animal rights group. Dr. Katz explains what he is hoping to change in animal rights law and why. 
  • Philosophy Talk Goes to the Movies (Seek to 47:30): John and Ken talk about the philosophically interesting aspects of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Would one's life make sense if all the memories of one person were removed? What role does memory play in personal identity?

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Justifying Animal Rights

In this society, it is under law for all people have the basic rights under the universal declaration of human rights. As stated, this only benefits humans, where humans rule the world. So where does the rights of animals come from? Many people do not understand animal rights and how we should treat them equally and why. Through animal research and experimentations, humans are getting benefit and gains in the obscene inhumane ways; the poor animals are suffering through pain and distress, even though they have moral status and rights. A right is a particular way of protecting interests, to say that an interest is protected by a right, is to say that interest is protected against being ignored or…show more content…

Animals have moral status and moral rights as much as humans does, however it might seem less important compared to humans, even though animals are not thought of as machines and property. Gary L. Francione has respectfully argued that animals and humans are individuals, where both are living creatures, but because of the idea that they can not think rationally or abstractly, that makes many believe it to be acceptable to treat them as property. (xxviii) Even young children or mentally handicapped people can not think rationally or abstractly, yet no one would think of putting them through biomedical experiments, or a source of food. (xxix) In Gill Langley’s way of theological thinking, religiously in a way, animals lack souls. Having no obvious logical connection between these “facts” and the judgement that it would be wrong to do somethings to humans that it would not be wrong to do to animals. (25) Animals do not exist for humans and our uses, they have the same moral status as humans and are to be treated well with respect, for their own sake, because they have moral importance in their own right, not having relations with humans. (DeGrazia 13) David DeGrazia had mentioned three increasingly strong sense of “animal rights” in his book, “The moral-status sense”, in the loose sense of the term “animal rights”, the animal have at least some moral status. “The equal-consideration sense” means that we must give equal moral weight