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Articles on Animal Pritection Comparison

Introduction

Several people have come up with some ideas to defend the rights of animals (non-humans). It has been argued that non-human animals, just like humans, have their rights that need to be protected and some have gone to an extent of opposing the idea o0f slaughtering animals for food as well as using animals in carrying out some tasks. There have been arguments by some authors that all animals are equal and need equal treatment. However, others have raised opposing views that dismiss the idea that all animals are equal. These people opposing the idea of all animals being equal argue that humans stand above all other animals and are not supposed to be seen as being on the same level as the rest of the animals. However, this issue can only be well understood and resolved where there is a clear definition of what equality is, or what the actual meaning of animals being equal is. Among the people who sought to discuss the issue of equality and the animals’ rights are Wesley J. Smith and Peter Singer. Each of them has presented some ideas concerning this issue and in this paper, there is going to be a comparison of two articles written by these two authors and the ideas presented by them are going to be considered. These articles are “Animals are equal” by Peter Singer and “Giving animals rights is antihuman” by Wesley J. Smith. The articles discuss issues concerning equality among animals and their rights. All animals, be it humans or non-humans have their rights that need to be respected on the basis of equal and moral consideration.

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A comparison of Peter Singer’s “Animals are equal” and Wesley Smith’s “Giving animals rights is antihuman”

According to Peter Singer in the article he wrote, “Animals are equal”, humans are supposed to respect the rights of other animals just the same way they respect their own rights. His claim is that all animals are equal. The singer comes up with the idea of speciesism which he defines as “a prejudice or attitude of bias in favor of the interests of the members of one’s own species and against those of members of other species” (Singer, 4). On the other hand, Smith does not agree with Singer on the idea of sacrificing human beings who may be having some sought disability in place of non-human animals for the benefit of the majority. However, they do agree on the idea that a few can be sacrificed for the benefit of the majority. More so, these two authors are not opposed to the idea of using non-human animals as food the way other protectors of animal rights do.

The claims that are presented by Singer, in a way, go in line with this Smith’s claim. Singer observes that equality among animals is based on equal consideration and it is a moral idea and not a factual one. Singer as well observes that the capability to suffer is a requirement for rights. This implies that, since each and every animal has the capacity to suffer, it needs to be protected against any form of suffering. All animals; be it non-human animals or humans are able to feel pain when exposed to suffering. Avoiding suffering is realized through the protection of the animal rights.

However, to make it clear, Singer points out that by talking about equality, this does not necessarily refer to having equal rights. For instance, dogs can not claim to have equal rights with human beings in regard to voting or women do not have equal rights to men in regard to abortion. Therefore, equality refers to equal consideration. Singer also relates the issue as to why equality is a moral idea and not an affirmation of fact. By reviewing those claims that are put forth by other people who seek to defend sexism and racism, Singer presents his arguments. These arguments presented by the other people are in opposition to the equality of all human beings. Singer reviews these arguments by considering the reasons for sexism and racism not being right. He argues that in whatever conditions, human beings are not similar and have their own differences. Singer observes that “if the demand for equality was based on the actual equality of all human beings, we would have to stop demanding equality” (Singer, p. 4) Equality does not imply having the same level of intelligence or physical strength. The similar characteristics that are given by Singer which are seen among the non-human animals and the human beings having the acceptance of the earlier features of equality to a great level prompt one to draw a conclusion that all the animals are equal.

As much as Smith may agree on some issues in regard to equality among animals and their rights, he emphasizes the special position that a human being occupies. According to him, where there is an issue that concerns non-human animals and humans, fair treatment should be inclined towards humans. He indicates that mass slaughtering of non-human animals may be a justifiable idea and this should not be compared to genocide since the slaughtering of the animals may be meant to feed those people who might be starving so that their lives may be saved. Genocide is evil. More so, he does not consider artificial insemination carried out on an animal like a cow as rape since this is meant for higher milk production that can be helpful to the health of a human being.

Smith does not agree with Singer on the idea of sacrificing human beings who may be having some sought of disability in place of non-human animals for the benefit of the majority. However, they do agree on the idea that a few can be sacrificed for the benefit of the majority. More so, these two authors are not opposed to the idea of using non-human animals as food the way other protectors of animal rights do. Smith makes a conclusion that the way people behave towards each other and towards the world is, to a significant level, based on the way human beings consider themselves. If at all people come to look at themselves as being just like any other animal, then they would commence on behaving in a manner that suggests just that. This is why he considers it as being not human to give animals rights.

Conclusion

Animal rights need to be respected and there is a need to have equality among animals. However, this equality is not on the basis of the level of intelligence, physical strength or any other observable quality among the animals. Equality should be based on equal consideration. For instance, humans should not engage in unnecessarily mistreating non-human animals but they should consider that these animals as well experience pain when suffering is inflicted on them just like humans. However, human beings occupy a special place above other animals and it is their moral responsibility to ensure that the rights of the animals are not violated.

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The claims that are presented by Singer in his articles, in a way, go in line with Smith’s claim that he presents in his article and the observation Singer makes is that equality among animals is based on equal consideration and it is a moral idea and not a factual one. Singer as well observes that the capability to suffer is a requirement for rights. This implies that, since each and every animal has the capacity to suffer, it needs to be protected against any form of suffering. All animals; be it non-human animals or humans are able to feel pain when exposed to suffering. Avoiding suffering is realized through the protection of the animal rights.

Smith does not agree with Singer on the idea of sacrificing human beings who may be having some sought of disability in place of non-human animals for the benefit of the majority. However, they do agree on the idea that a few can be sacrificed for the benefit of the majority. More so, these two authors are not opposed to the idea of using non-human animals as food the way other protectors of animal rights do.

Works Cited

  1. Singer Peter, “Animals are equal”: In Animal liberation, 2nd Edition. New York: New York Review of Books, 1990.
  2. Smith, Wesley, J., “Giving animals rights is antihuman”. Current controversies: Rights of animals. Ed. Debra A miller. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Articles on Animal Pritection Comparison." December 11, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/articles-on-animal-pritection-comparison/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Articles on Animal Pritection Comparison'. 11 December.

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