Marine Animals In The Vancouver Aquarium

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The treatment of marine animals in the Vancouver Aquarium is a depraved action because it unethically treats animals as resources for human purposes. For example, marine animals such as dolphins and belugas are utilized for entertainment and experimental studies (“Beluga Research”). This remains a significant problem because keeping marine animals in confinement for human purposes is a violation of animal rights to live freely from human utilization, regardless the type of treatment that the marine animals are receiving. Generally, these detrimental types of treatment against marine animals are used as means to attain human ends such as entertainment and innovative treatments or discoveries resulting from research experiments (“Beluga Research”). …show more content…
For example, Kant contends that “animals are not self-conscious and are there merely as means to an end” (Lectures on Ethics, 239). This conveys that marine animals like dolphins and belugas aren’t self-conscious so it’s ethically right to utilize them as means for human ends including research purposes or entertainment reasons. According to Kant, humans have a right to use animals as means to their purposes such as viewing whales in the aquarium for pleasure and amusement or experimenting on belugas for future discoveries regarding marine life because these marine animals aren’t part of the moral community, which consists of individuals who possess moral regard (Lectures on Ethics, 239). Moreover, animals aren’t a part of the moral community because they lack the capacity for rational autonomy, and therefore animals cannot make moral decisions (Warriner, 4). On the other hand, humans must have the capacity for rational autonomy to make moral decisions so they are a part of the moral community (Warriner, 10). For example, humans are rational agents so they have “the ability to deliberate and make autonomous choices” (Warriner, 10). Therefore, morality applies to everyone who is rational and can make autonomous choices, which excludes animals because they lack the rational capacity to make autonomous …show more content…
I believe that rational capacity shouldn’t be the element that enables individuals to be part of the moral community because there are other humans who also lack rational capacity, but they are included in the moral community while animals remain excluded. For example, the presence of marginal cases such as infants, mentally disabled and individuals with dementia remain in the moral community, but marine animals including whales and belugas are prohibited even though marginal cases involving infants and marine animals both lack rational capacity (Warriner, 17). This is significant because Kant argues that the capacity for rational autonomy gives moral status and the imperative difference between humans and animals is that humans have the capacity for rational autonomy, but animals don’t (Warriner, 4). However, some humans also don’t have the capacity for rational autonomy like

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