Do Animals Have Rights Analysis

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A right is a well-established moral principle that is shared among members of a social community. Rights can develop, but they require bilateral understanding. Humans can understand and develop shared moral principles that can build into rights. All other animals are unable to develop moral principles in the same way. This means that the human-created notion of a right can only apply to humans. Therefore, animals have no rights, but humans still have an obligation to treat animals properly. In an effort to make the wording more concise, the term “animal” will refer to all animals (Kingdom Animalia) other than humans. A right can be defined as a moral requirement that aims to better the life of an individual. Rights can provide protections …show more content…
Rights can only be expressed between two parties who mutually understand the aspects of the rights. The understanding of the rights is defined from an individual’s membership in a community of moral agents. For example, all humans are members of the same group since all humans are able to share and express moral claims. This exchange of moral claims allows humans to share the same rights, as the desires of the group can be determined. Certain humans with disabilities cannot be excluded, as the overall nature of being a human defines the applicability of human …show more content…
Regan first introduces the term subject of a life, which refers to an animal 's ability to display higher level mental capacity such as the expression of emotion, desire, and sense of the future. All animals—including humans—that experience subjects of a life have inherent value, and “all who have inherent value have it equally” (Regan, p. 520). The problem with this notion of inherent value is that it is not well defined. In Mary Anne Warren’s “Speaking of Animal Rights,” the obscurity of inherent value is highlighted. Inherent value is described primarily in negative terms, and there is no specific definition that would appropriately define whether or not a being has inherent value. Additionally, the line for what is classified as having inherent value and what does not is not clearly drawn. In fact, it is impractical to create the line anywhere, as doing so would allow two similar species on either side of the line to be respected in entirely different ways since inherent value is an absolute property. In an attempt to remedy this, Warren promotes a weak animal rights theory which ascribes simple principles that protect animals from universal wronging. Although this is better than Regan’s absolute approach, human-generated rights cannot be applied to animals. Warren’s weak rights can simply be incorporated in humans obligations towards animals, since they amount to nothing

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