Skip Nav

Essay/Term paper: Animal rights

Animal Rights Essay

❶Indeed, these philosophies have, in part, carried through into Indian law with several important protectionist laws.

You are here

I. Introduction
Other sample model essays:
Essay, term paper, research paper: Animal Rights

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. Some people believe that animals should be treated in the same way humans are and have similar rights, whereas others think that it is more important to use them as we desire for food and medical research. This essay will discuss both points of view. With regard to the exploitation of animals, people believe it is acceptable for several reasons.

Firstly, they think that humans are the most important beings on the planet, and everything must be done to ensure human survival. If this means experimenting on animals so that we can fight and find cures for diseases, then this takes priority over animal suffering. Furthermore, it is believed by some that animals do not feel pain or loss as humans do, so if we have to kill animals for food or other uses, then this is morally acceptable.

However, I do not believe these arguments stand up to scrutiny. To begin, it has been shown on numerous occasions by secret filming in laboratories via animal rights groups that animals feel as much pain as humans do, and they suffer when they are kept in cages for long periods. In addition, a substantial amount of animal research is done for cosmetics, not to find cures for diseases, so this is unnecessary. Finally, it has also been proven that humans can get all the nutrients and vitamins that they need from green vegetables and fruit.

Therefore, again, having to kill animals for food is not an adequate argument. To sum up, although some people argue killing animals for research and food is ethical, I would argue there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that this is not the case, and, therefore, steps must be taken to improve the rights of animals. Improve your writing score quickly. Have you found this page useful? If so you may be interested in our top selling writing eBooks! Task 1 and Task 2 eBooks. I highly recommend them!

They are from the Academic and General Test. You can also post t…. Hello, It's been a long time. I noticed I wasn't good enough and I spent several weeks to enhance my writing. Please judge my latest one. Free online lessons, strategies and tips to help you understand the IELTS reading module and achieve a high score.

Spending on the Arts. Instead, the state takes it upon itself to monitor, with varying degrees of success, human society to ensure that its members do not violate the safeguards meant to protect other species.

To understand the meaning of this state of affairs, a little legal background is warranted. The law is full of classifications, one of the most important of which is the distinction between persons and nonpersons. While there is no rule that prevents nonpersons from holding legal rights and protections, only legal persons have the capacity to enforce and safeguard those entitlements.

In reality, personhood is nothing more than a legal fiction, a term attached to certain entities that allow them to assert their rights and privileges. To the nonlawyer, it is probably no surprise that today all people are persons. It might be more surprising to learn that this was not always the case [ xxxvi ] or that entities like corporations and the government are legal persons.

Moreover, this fact also limits the benefits animals can receive. Personhood, then, for these purposes boils down to having the ability to sue. To be able to sue, a potential litigant must have standing, as referenced earlier. Standing might be thought of as the confluence of a legal person, a legal right, and a legal interest seeking to redress a legal wrong.

Because animals are not persons, they cannot sue. Moreover, the standing requirements articulated by the Supreme Court make it difficult for activists to sue on behalf of animal interests because rarely can they assert a sufficient legal injury to their legal interests.

As articulated in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife , to have standing a plaintiff must: Indeed, while courts have been willing to recognize an aesthetic injury to support a lawsuit [ xl ] they have at the same time refused to read into statutes private causes of action. While it is absurd to imagine a nonhuman actually litigating a case [ xlii ] , it is less difficult to imagine a human attorney representing an animal client.

That prospect, however, raises the potential for abuse by trial lawyers seeking out lawsuits. Moreover, as discussed later, there remains conflict within the animal protection community itself whether such a change should be a primary goal of the movement or simply the natural result of other substantive societal reforms.

To the law, animals are property: This principle is deeply interwoven into the law. Indeed, some of the first cases read by law students in Property class are Pierson v. Post [ xliv ] and Keeble v. Hickeringill [ xlv ] ; each of which is about the acquisition, ownership, and control of wild property — namely foxes and ducks. Treating animals as property is not strictly a matter of law, however, as it is also deeply entrenched in Western religion.

The Old Testament, for instance, decrees that animals are goods over which humanity has dominion. To him, animals were something common to the world, not unlike the air we breathe. On the other hand, animals have the potential and perhaps purpose of serving humanity. As property, they have no interests independent of those assigned by humanity.

And yet, animals are not just like any other household property. Unlike the household toaster, the law regulates how people treat their animals. Anti-cruelty laws prevent inhumane treatment to animals, subjecting violators to criminal sanction for causing unjustified harm to other creatures.

Penalties range from misdemeanor fines in some locations to a recent trend towards making such conduct a felony. This sets animals apart, giving them special status within the property regime.

They are entitled to certain minimum guarantees, namely that they will not be made to suffer unnecessarily. It is important to recognize at the same time, however, that such anti-cruelty regulations do not solely have animal interests at heart. Quite apart from any benefit the animal might receive from being free from cruel treatment, such laws also help to protect human investment in property.

Moreover, many who support such laws are truly concerned not with the actual harm to the animal, but with what such treatment indicates about the abuser — namely a propensity to violence that might ultimately lead to violence against humans. Given these concerns that exist independent of animal interests, it is not surprising that such laws are often vaguely written what after all is cruel and what is unnecessary?

Of course, no discussion of federal law would be complete without a brief introduction to the most commonly known animal protection law—the Endangered Species Act.

The result, in addition to preserving species who might otherwise be lost to the world, is to increase the cost of development and in some cases prevent development altogether. Indeed, as originally drafted, the law was absolute in its protections, providing no exceptions from conservation of listed species, and as a result worked to temporarily stop the construction of the Tellico Dam in Tennessee because the area was the last known habitat of the Snail Darter.

Unlike harm caused to humans there is rarely a private cause of action to redress injuries inflicted upon animals. Surely, an animal owner can recover for the lost value of the animal, but in the case of a dog or cat such sums are usually insufficient to justify filing suit.

No court under the current legal regime would award an animal damages for injury to its being. Moreover, most courts deny animal owners the ability to sue for the damages they incur to their person, in the form of emotional damage, when their animals are injured or killed. Several jurisdictions in recent years have considered changes to this rule. Tennessee in went substantially further and actually enacted legislation allowing animal owners to recover emotional damages for injuries inflicted upon their pets.

For a more thorough discussion of this issue, please see http: No one would dispute that animals play an important, perhaps even vital, role in human society.

In considering and evaluating the materials to follow, add the following to the more general list of characters already introduced. Consider first animals that exhibit human characteristics, or how people attribute animal characteristics to some animals.

For example, Alex is a parrot in Massachusetts that can speak. Unlike the pet store parrot, however, Alex does more than mimic sounds. He recognizes and can identify colors. Researchers at MIT are debating whether he can communicate. It is there that he lives in his cage, along with several other birds, subject to the close scrutiny and tests of scientists trying to ascertain the limits of his linguistic capabilities.

Flo, a female chimpanzee, died of old age by the side of a stream. Flint, her son, stayed by her corpse, grabbing one of her arms and trying to pull her up by the hand. He slept near her body all night, and in the morning he showed signs of depression. In the days following, no matter where he wandered off, he always returned to his mother's body, trying to remove the maggots from it.

Eventually, attacked by the maggots himself, he stopped coming back, but he stayed fifty yards away and would not move. In ten days he lost about a third of his body weight. Finally, after his mother's corpse had been removed for burial, Flint sat down on a rock near where she had lain down, and died.

The post mortem failed to show the cause of death. Primatologist Jane Goodall concludes that the major cause of death had to be grief: Next, consider the new ways in which society finds to utilize animals for their benefit. In South Dakota there is a cow named Yoon.

She looks and probably acts line any other bovine, but she is not. Yoon, like an ever-increasing number of animals, was genetically engineered by human scientists.

Unlike some clones, designed for the novelty of science or for food production, Yoon and her siblings were created to save lives. Such miracles might become a reality by infecting the animals with various bacteria and viruses.

Other animals are similarly being used. Research is underway, for instance into producing pigs whose hearts could be used for human transplants and who might better produce human insulin for diabetics. Finally, consider a dog. Luke was a yellow Labrador Retriever and a family pet.

Over the course of his ten year life, he became a dear member of the family who was much loved. His veterinarian prescribed special diet food for him to go along with his multiple, daily medications.

He also had to have several surgeries and costly diagnostic tests from time to time. Thus, when Luke blew out his knee like a football player, his family was given three choices: All along the way, these life choices were not, and perhaps could not be, made by Luke. Not everyone will react to the above biographies above in the same way. Thus, for instance, some might consider the use of Yoon a travesty, while others a necessary cost of promoting human health, and still others yet another creative way to make an otherwise dumb animal useful.

For purposes of simplicity, this article assumes only two general groups of people—those in favor of increasing legal protections afforded to all animals and those opposed to all such attempts.

The discussion, then, is one of pure theory that intentionally omits the considerations of the great many people who find themselves in the middle of this ideological spectrum. Even within the animal protection movement there is disagreement about the goals that should be sought on behalf of other species. Roughly, there are three competing philosophies: Briefly, one might understand welfare and rights to lie at opposite ends of the protectionist spectrum.

Animal welfare advocates support the types of reforms long sought on behalf of animals — increased penalties for unjustifiable harsh treatment, in other words. Welfarists accept the legal status of other species as property, even condoning such a classification.

Moreover, they acknowledge that animals always will be, and perhaps to some extent should be, used as resources for humanity. The limit, however, is that animals should not suffer unnecessarily at the hands of people. Many of the contemporary gains made on behalf of animals are welfare-based in nature. For instance, at the federal level, statutes such as the Animal Welfare Act [ lxiii ] and the Humane Slaughter Method Act [ lxiv ] seek to ensure that animals used in industry are treated appropriately.

State anti-cruelty laws aim to proscribe the mistreatment of animals by private citizens, in other words setting the bounds for the treatment of dogs, cats, birds, and the like. Take note that the goal is to regulate unnecessary pain and suffering, not all suffering. This means that it is all right to eat animals, to use them for some experimentation, to domesticate them, and in some circumstances to kill them.

On the other end of the protectionist spectrum lie animal rights advocates. Rights advocates seek to first change the fundamental legal status of animals away from mere property towards something closer to personhood.

Such a change would open the door to more expansive reforms down the line. At base, rights advocates believe that all animals, human and otherwise, possess some inalienable rights that deserve recognition and protection.

To the law, these might be characterized as fundamental rights that must never be abridged except in the most dire of circumstances. The number and scope of such rights do not come in one size, but rather are unique based on the intellect and capabilities of each species. Thus, rights advocates do not accept the property status of animals nor the wisdom of subjecting them to human domination.

Animal experimentation in laboratories, even if helpful to humans, is unjustified. Factory farming, and perhaps the meat industry itself, is immoral. Indeed, one must be careful not to eat produce sprayed with pesticides that cost insects their lives. Such seemingly radical reforms make rights advances hard to come by. As such, those dissatisfied by both extremes may look for an alternative approach.

The new welfarist is identified by several characteristics. First, she rejects the notion that animals are merely tools for humanity. Animal rights opponents object to both the concept of rights for nonhumans and its practical implications. On a philosophical level, animal rights would devalue humans by putting them on par with other, perhaps all other, life on the planet. Even if one were to accept that the differences between people and animals are subtle, it is the accumulation of these differences that makes civilization possible.

Moreover, such objections do not encompass the many religious objections to animal rights. Many religions teach that it is the existence of a soul that makes human life so sacred and only humans possess souls.

Finally, one should not overlook the biblical grant of dominion over animals given to man. In a similar but distinct vein, rights are something intrinsically unique to humans. Rights are simply a term we attach to the special significance given to human life.

The existence of rights, and the extension thereof, is a human debate; one in which, by definition, animals cannot have a voice. Others mean the same thing when they call humans homocentric or narcissistic.

But is that so wrong? Put another way, this is how the animal kingdom works. A mother bear does not care what effect her actions have on the rest of the animals in the forest, only on her cubs. Moreover, the rights opponents contend, society always has and still does reject any notion of rights for animals.

This is a reality recognized by the courts. In that case, a Florida city passed an ordinance aimed at prohibiting the animal sacrifices performed by members of the Santeria religion. The law was challenged in court on First Amendment free exercise of religion grounds. As part of its defense, the city claimed the law was intended to safeguard animals from unnecessary suffering. The Court rejected this argument almost out of hand, making numerous references to the cruelty humanity inflicts on animals all the time, conduct not regulated by the statute.

In speaking about the anti-animal rights position, it is important to note that many such people do not draw the same distinction between rights and welfare as done by animal advocates. More importantly, few would classify themselves as against true animal welfare—some sort of philosophical position that seeks to inflict truly unnecessary harm on animals. Quite to the contrary, most such people believe instead that there are already adequate animal protection laws on the books and that any additional laws can only be intended by the animal protection movement as a prelude to future more controversial reforms.

Apart from competing philosophies, there are external forces at work that discourage greater gains for animal protection. Money as they say, talks. Animals are, for lack of a better description, big business in America and elsewhere. A look around the average house demonstrates the important role that animals play in the economy. Household use of animal products extends far beyond leather shoes and the food in the refrigerator, however. As Professor Wise points out: Her fat helps make plastic, tires, crayons, cosmetics, lubricants, soaps, detergents, cough syrup, contraceptive jellies and creams, ink, shaving cream, fabric softeners, synthetic rubber, jet engine lubricants, textiles, corrosion inhibitors, and metal-machining lubricants.

Her collagen is found in pie crusts, yogurts, matches, bank notes, paper, and cardboard glue; her intestines are used in strings for musical instruments and racquets; her bones in charcoal ash for refining sugar, in ceramics, and cleaning and polishing compounds.

The family pet is likely a product of the dog breeding industry. Factory farming techniques helped put meat, cheese, and eggs on the table at a reasonable price. Dog racing, horse racing, and hunting provide both entertainment and income to millions across the country.

The list is nearly infinite, but the point is that the current status and treatment of animals is deeply interwoven into the American capitalist system.

It must therefore be considered what effect a change to the legal status of animals would have on the national labor market and cost of goods. Any change to the law that significantly alters the relationship between humanity and this lucrative property line would have deep repercussions within the economy. International economics also discourage significant changes to the legal status of animals. Thus, as a result of the comprehensive American laws meant to provide protection to the average employee, companies have moved many jobs to other countries where there is less workplace regulation and the cost of labor is far less expensive.

In so doing, they would be able to provide a comparable product at prices far less than could domestic producers who would in turn be forced out of business. In a world, then, where anything that has to be there overnight can be, animal advocates must propose not only legislation in their home, but also seek international change as well. The use, and some might say abuse, of animals is well established. While one might feel sympathy for the needs of his or her own dog or perhaps even the stray on the corner, that same concern probably does not extend to the turkey at Thanksgiving.

Indeed, the recognition of animal rights might well mean the end of many cherished items and traditions, such as leather seats, shoes, and baseballs. Similarly, there are hobbies and sports dependent on the treatment of animals as something less than legal individuals. Animal rights opponents quite rightly point out that both hunting and fishing might well come to an end if animal protections are allowed to advance too far, not to mention other sports such as dog and horse racing.

Moreover, people have become used to viewing animals as things, as exhibits at the zoo or entertainers in the circus ring. Indeed, these human perceptions and customs are so self-evident they need no further elaboration. Taken as a whole, then, one sees that animal advocates, whether noble activists or misguided fanatics, face an uphill battle in winning over society and the legal system.

What remains, then, is a discussion about the actual goals sough by animal rights advocates. There are many initial, intermediate, and ultimate goals that the average animal rights advocate would like to achieve. To some, the ultimate goal is simply more equitable treatment for animals, with no real more tangible meaning than that conceptual hope.

Others have real tangible goals that include an end to animal experimentation, the consumption of animals by people, and perhaps an end to the domestication of different species. Still others who consider themselves animal advocates are really only concerned about the interests of some subset of animals—animals like their dog for instance.

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Animal Rights. City Journal. Alternatively: " animal rights must not only be an idea but a social movement for the liberation of the world's most oppressed beings, both in terms of numbers and in the severity of their pain." Steven Best. Essay: Animal Rights and the New Enlightenment.

Privacy FAQs

If some rights restricting animals from serving people are implemented, most of the domesticated animals will suffer as they don’t have adaptations to survive if left alone in the jungle. No one will see the need to domesticate a non-beneficial animal in his/her home. Despite the disadvantages of animal’s rights they still dearly need the rights.

About Our Ads

While animal rights as theory already has a significant history, animal rights as a vehicle for legal change is just taking root. In countries around the world changes in the legal status of other animals is already underway and several localities in the United States are beginning the slow process of . Animal Rights Essay This IELTS animal rights essay discusses the exploitation of animals by humans. People who believe in animal rights think that they should not be treated cruelly, for example in experiments or for sport.

Cookie Info

Dec 09,  · I have to write an essay on animal rights and why I think animals should have more rights. I already wrote my outline, and I have all of my body paragraphs, I just don't know how to introduce my paper. Animal Rights Essay - 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.