Animal Liberation/Animal Rights

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by THX-1138, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. THX-1138

    THX-1138 Guest

    Since my last thread seems to be stalled by unwillingness to debate the issue, I'll start another.

    Question:

    Why shouldn't human beings grant equal fundamental rights or equal consideration of interests to other animals?
     

  2. SenatorB

    SenatorB J.S.P.S

    Or a more neutral spin on the question:
    Should humans treat animals with the same rights they treat humans?

    I'm fairly in the middle of this issue. I think that animals should be treated well, but only to a certain extent before it gets ridiculous. When a cow is killed to be made into delicious burgers, it should be killed in such a way that it does not feel pain, or its pain is as minimal as possible... but I don't have an issue with the fact that cows are killed to be made into delicious burgers. For the most part, animals are stupid. They aren't humans, they don't have the same mental processes or capabilities of rational thought, and they shouldn't be treated like humans. They are aware of pain, and they can feel fear, so those should be minimized.
     
  3. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    The main problem is that many animals that are treated cruelly have been bred so that their lives are very short and painful even if they are not killed, because they suffer from chronic diseases.

    I don't have a problem with humanely killing animals, but I believe that we must ensure that they live their lives in comfort, not jammed together in hellish conditions.
     
  4. THX-1138

    THX-1138 Guest

    Neither do all humans. Based on this logic, a severely mentally disabled human being with lower cognitive abilities than a particular animal should receive less consideration for its interests. In other words, if animals are not given basic rights because of their lack of intelligence, certain human beings should be disqualified as well from having basic rights.
     
  5. SenatorB

    SenatorB J.S.P.S

    Even a severely retarded human has more reasoning capability and higher mental functions than most animals. Those that do not, their families care about them, and they are generally treated about on the same level as a deeply loved pet. The difference is that a severely retarded human is an aberation on the species, whereas a stupid animal is an example of the species.
     
  6. THX-1138

    THX-1138 Guest

    Why should that matter? Why should intelligence matter at all in the first place? Furthermore, you discriminate against non-human animals by not granting them the same basic rights and equal consideration for their interests, meanwhile, you make an exception for those that don't meet your criteria solely because of their species. That is specieism which is illogical and without anymore justification than racism, sexism, and so on.

    Moreover, "those that do not" are still granted basic legal rights in this society, pets, for the most part are not.
     
  7. SenatorB

    SenatorB J.S.P.S

    It matters because there has to be a line, past which you no longer give rights. Without such a line, we are obligated to give each and every living thing rights... pulling weeds would be murder, mowing your lawn would be genocide, slapping a mosquito would be a crime. I think it makes perfect sense to draw the line at the ability to form rational higher level thinking. Those species that can form comprehensive thoughts get rights, those that cannot get rights according to the level of their cognative ability. The vast majority of animal species are unable to form higher thought.

    Speciesism is considerably different than racism, sexism, etc.. The only difference between races is the place they were born, which leads to perhaps a difference of beliefs and skin color. A black person has equal potential to be as intelligent or successful as a white person. In other words, the only difference between races is on the surface. The same goes for sexes... a men and women are equally capable, with the main difference being physicality. The difference between SPECIES however goes beyond the surface. The smartest cow will NEVER have brain functions similar to any human (regardless of race, sex, etc.). If a cow were the same as a human, with the difference being that they were cow shaped instead of human shaped (black shaped instead of white, man shaped instead of woman, etc.), I'd be all for their having equal rights... but that isn't the case.

    Generally not. A severely retarded person is treated legally as though they were of the age that their IQ places them at. For most, this places them at the level of an infant or other very young child. Such a person does not have most legal rights that a normal adult has. They do have the basic rights of a very young child, which makes sense. Pets on the other hand, are not given such rights because they do not even have the mental capacity of a very young child, and unlike a very young child, they never will have such capacity.
     
  8. THX-1138

    THX-1138 Guest

    The line should be between beings that have the capacity to suffer and those that should not. That is a rational line, unlike yours, intelligence, which is inconsistent and irrational to begin with. Sentience and thus the capacity to feel pain is rational because as moral beings, we are empathetic and there is no logical reason why our empathy should not expand to other sentience species.

    Again, it is still specieism that is the root of your prejudice, not intelligence itself since you are inconsistent.

    Pigs have the cognitive ability of a 4 year old, possibly even a 5 year old human child. A severely mentally disabled human being with a lower cognitive level will never have the potential to expand theirs like a normal child would. Therefore, the human in this case, is beneath the pig according to your criteria. Why aren't you consistent? Why do you discriminate based on species and not cognitive ability?
     
  9. Jubei

    Jubei Guest

    To say an animal has cognitive ability comparable to a human of any age is assuming a lot. There is a reason we have evolved to what we are today. We are not as strong as many animals. We do not have the sharp senses they do. We do not have the speed of an animal. We have evolved to use our cognitive skills that other animals simply do not have.

    If you were, however, to take in consideration the supposed intelligence of animals; the smartest of animals (varieties of parrots, chimps, and dolphins) have been most widely recognized (and I admit I could be wrong on this) as having the IQ of a 5 year-old. Comparing such an animal to a mentally disabled human is completely unfair. The human is in a retarded state, whereas the animal is in its natural state and therefore is better adapted to make up for or take advantage of its intelligence. For example, most mentally challenged persons have difficulties with their motor functions due to their plight.

    Now I don't believe that we have any responsibility at all to treat animals humanely. I know it sounds harsh, and I personally would not harm an animal (in fact my family and I have cared for many), but I do not understand how slaughtering cattle nicely makes any difference. The fact is that we are omnivores. We eat meat. We have always eaten meat as far as our history tells us. Did we worry about the humanity of animals when we were killing them back in our early history? Why should that matter now? In any case, I can't believe that torturing a chicken before it is chopped and packages is very efficient or economical anyway. I am also not saying it is OK to beat a dog for fun as that type of violence could lead to some horribly immoral acts and is probably not psychologically healthy. I just don't understand why humans should worry about the feelings of animals that don't worry about the feelings of humans.
     
  10. SenatorB

    SenatorB J.S.P.S

    It can easily be argued that a plant can suffer, or that an insect can suffer. I claim that your line is not rational at all, as it is not so much a line as an opinion... whereas drawing the line at cognative ability of the species makes much more sense, and can be measured quite easily.

    Because they can feel pain, we should be humane and not let them feel pain. However, because their sentience is mostly limited to sensory input, as opposed to making higher level thought based on such input, there is no need to treat them as humans.

    I do not see anything wrong with speciesism, and I explained why in my previous post. You've completely ignored all the reasons I gave for it, and merely restated your point with no further evidence to back it up. Speciesism based on intelligence. Those species which share intelligence similar to our own shall have rights similar to our own. Those that do not shall not. It makes perfect sense. And here's a question, if you don't think discriminating by species is ok... would you have sex with a sheep? It's just another species, don't discriminate... Or here's another question... would you let a cow vote? Equal rights, right?

    Rights should be granted not by the individual, but by the species, based on the intelligence of the species. Therefore a stupid member of an intelligent species has all the rights of the intelligent species, whereas any member of a stupid species has only a limited number of rights. This is very consistent, and IS discriminant based on cognative ability, albeit cognative ability of the species as opposed to the individual. I also ask that you provide a source backing up your stat on the pigs.
     

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