Animals Should Have Similar Rights as Humans
From time immemorial, there has a harmonious coexistence between animals and human beings. Humans’ evolution from hunting and gathering into agricultural settlements played a very significant role in this harmonious coexistence. Nonetheless, humans over time exploited animals that merely coexisted amongst them fir for companionship and later for agricultural commodities through taming techniques, artificial selection, and breeding. With the progressive industrialization of the human society, animal exploitation increased. Scientists, as a result, began to carry out experiments on animals to test and develop cosmetics and medications.
With the latter as a justification for animal exploitation, a good number of people are of the assumption that animals do not require rights, which in my opinion isn’t and should not be the case. Just like humans, animals have a heart, feelings, are responsive to stimuli, and strive to survive amidst extreme odds, and should as such have rights, just like humans do – we are also animals. Most significantly, these rights ought to protect animals from abuse, experimentation, and abandonment, and given that animals lack a voice in the society in defense of this harm and exploitation by humans, it is our dutiful obligation to counter this kind of hostility.
A Bill of Rights for animals should, if not already, be enacted so that they are protected from scientific exploitation by humans. That animals are put in a position of subjection to injurious chemical injections and genetic modification experiments is just, for lack of a better word, barbaric. It only means that we have no respect for the lives of animals; that we regard them as inanimate objects instead of creatures that bear life. “The majority of animal experiments do not contribute to improving human health, and the value of the role that animal experimentation plays in most medical advances is questionable” (Results from Research on Animals Are Not Valid When Applied to Humans, 2015). With this in mind, it bears reason to say that these issues can altogether be stamped out with some kind of legal action.
Melnick (2016) argued, “Some estimates indicate that as many as 800 U.S. laboratories are not subject to federal laws and inspections because they experiment exclusively on mice, rats, and other animals whose use is unregulated.” Owing to the fact animal experimentation is, for the most part, unregulated, it is only deducible that the people at the helm of the organizations herein involved do not have some form of moral code herein underlying.
A number may be inclined to the idea that animals at times deserve mistreatment or should even be killed in the event a human life is at stake. Harambe, for instance, a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo was killed following an attack on a young kid. The underlying ethics as regards this course of action were put to question by many. According to a survey carried out by the TCA (Tribune Content Agency), whereas 38 percent disapproved of the decision by the zookeeper to kill the gorilla, 48 percent approved this decision. This certainly triggers a lot of debate. Seemingly, people have failed to consider the fact that this animal under leash and is unable to freely roam as should be the case with wild animals. Arguably, it is the kid’s fault as he shouldn’t have gotten in such close proximity to the animal. The gorilla was only protecting itself from this potentially harmful foreign ‘object’ – the kid, just as it is rightful for any animal.
Overall, animals’ welfare is just as significant as any human being’s welfare, and an animals’ Bill of Rights ought to be enacted into governments for the animal’s sake and its protection. Certainly, these animals lack a voice in the society and are therefore unable to be heard as far as their rights go. We should as such make it our dutiful obligation as civilized, good people to try to give these animals an equal and fair chance at life.
Melnick, R.H. (2016, Sept/Oct). Police, Animals, and the Use of Force in Maryland. Maryland Bar Journal, 49(5), 30-35.
Results from Research on Animals Are Not Valid When Applied to Humans. (2015). In S. Engdahl (Ed.), Opposing Viewpoints, Scientific Research. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from Problems with Animal Research, www.aavs.org,n.d.)
Sun, Y. (2018, September). The Edge of “Animal Rights”. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 31(5), 543-557.