Animal Rights Position

896 Words 4 Pages
Position Paper Outline
1) Introduction Billions of animals are killed each year. Most live in unfavorable conditions and undergo painful procedures before being slaughtered for food or other purposes. Their treatment would never be applied to humans, even though they have so much in common. Just like human beings, animals have a nervous system. They can suffer and feel pleasure. In some cases, their intelligence can be compared to that of humans- Jeremy Bentham recognized centuries ago that “A full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day, or a week, or even a month, old (Bentham)”.
2) Stance on the Issue Based on the theory of utilitarianism-
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in Gruen)”. People of different ages, races, and abilities are not weighed differently based on utilitarianism. For centuries, human beings have treated animals as resources and things to exploit. Gary Francione argues that, “All sentient beings- human or nonhuman- are equal for the purpose of not being treated as resources, just as intellectually gifted human and a mentally disabled human are equal for the purpose of not being used as a forced organ donor or as a non-consenting subject in a painful biomedical experiment(Francione)”. In an excerpt from Animal Rights and Human Obligations, “All Animals Are Equal,” Peter Singer wrote “No matter what the nature of the being, the principle of equality requires that its suffering be counted equally with the like suffering—in so far as …show more content…
We would be horrified if someone suggested we kill or use the organs of a person who is of a lesser intelligence or not aware of themselves due to mental illness, damage to the brain or age. Both Bentham and Mill advocated for the abolition of slavery because it put the slave owner ahead of the slave and took the slaves’ liberty away from them (Francione 8). Similarly, animal agriculture puts the animals’ owner ahead of the animals they kill. Some countries have already protected animals under the law and banned certain cruel farming practices. Attitudes are changing- people no longer see animals as objects. Animals will fight to stay alive, meaning that they have an interest in continuing to live. Petitions, protests and laws have changed some farming practices, but Gary Francione points out that these changes are only made to improve the meat producers’ standing with their customers. “As long as animals are property, they can never be members of the moral community (Francione 22)”. In The Animal Rights Debate, Robert Garner states that Robert Nozick defined animal welfare as “utilitarianism for animals, Kantianism for people (qtd. in Francione 107)”. If killing and harming animals was seen as equal to killing or harming humans, it would be

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