Animal Rights Research Paper: What It Means to Have Rights
The necessity to have, know, and use the rights is evident indeed. However, people are not the only beings on earth with rights. Non-human animals are also known as the beings with their own rights and needs. Unfortunately, not all people are aware of this concept, though it is not new. This is why the development of animal rights idea faces a number of challenges and remains to be crucial in society. People want to learn whether it is possible and correct to believe that animals, who do not think, behave morally, or have souls, may have rights and use them in regards to the relations developed in a human society. Animal rights is a controversial issue for discussions, still, it should never be neglected because the doctrine of animal rights helps to understand the peculiarities and ethics of hunting, experiments, labor, and zoo maintaining and show people the right way on how to treat animals and create more or less appropriate conditions for co-existence.
Animal rights are discussed in different countries by different groups of people in a variety of ways. Some people want to know more about animal rights and underline the importance of this idea’s development. Some people need more information on how to avoid this type of rights to follow their own needs. Someone just neglects and knows nothing about animal rights. It seems that humans are in need of some help with understanding non-human animal rights and a guide to be followed. To avoid any misunderstandings and realize what it means for animals to have rights, it is necessary to (1) identify the idea of animal rights correctly, (2) realize the peculiarities of the relations between humans and non-human animals, (3) weight all for and against arguments of animal rights, and (4) learn the significance of the chosen concept.
The philosophy of animal rights is about the possibility of animals to be free and live their natural lives without pain and sufferings. There are many animal rights movements that aim at promoting the right not to be killed by humans. Still, there are also many organizations that work to diminish animal rights in society. For example, Cochrane (2013) explains that animal liberation and animal rights are not the same issues. It is quite possible for animals to be a property of humans and have their rights for an appropriate existence. BBC researchers (2014) admit that animal rights do not touch upon animals directly but discuss human activities in regards to non-human animals such as hunting, zoo development, killing, feeding, and the use as labor.
The relations between humans and animals differ considerably. There are the animals that are used for feeding, befriending, hunting, helping, etc. Of course, nowadays, the priorities have been changed, and people try to improve the standards according to their own interests. For example, pigs are the animals that have been used for feeding for a long period of time. The idea of animal rights did not influence a pig’s life. However, nowadays, people do not want to use pigs for meat only. Special breeds of pig are used as pets and provided with their own rights. It sounds funny indeed; still, it is one of the human whims that spread through society within a short period of time. Taking into consideration such changeable nature of relations between animals and humans and the fact and that animal rights are created by humans, the importance of animal rights seems to be doubtful. Yes, animals deserve the right to have their own rights. Still, this idea is possible only until it does prevent humans (Hansson & Jacobsson, 2014).
There are many for and against factors concerning animal rights and their urgency that helps to realize what it means for animals to have rights. For example, the existence of animal rights helps to realize that animals may have things they like and dislike (BBC, 2014), make conscious decisions, and plan their lives (e.g. digging holes to live in). At the same time, the consciousness of animals is hard to prove. People believe that animals do not have souls and cannot think (BBC, 2014), but there are so many cases that show that animals stop before making the next move, plan their hunt, and even watch at people with some kind of understanding. Scientists admit that these are just the examples of animal instincts, however, for someone, it is a possibility to believe that animals may have mind and use it. Of course, these are just the movies, but they can make people think about such possibilities that animals deserve their rights, can think, and benefit from their abilities: 101 Dalmatians, Mouse Hunt, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, or Eight Below. People are free to believe or neglect the idea of animal rights, still, they can never refuse the idea that their lives are impossible without animals.
Though animals cannot write, read, or think, and the concept of animal rights is a product of human work and research, animals remain to be crucial for the world. Of course, people will never follow the prescriptions that can harm them, decrease their opportunities, or deprive them of something, and animal rights may improve animal lives only in case a human allows this happening. However, people should realize that animals can do something to change something in case of emergency. They just too smart to spend their efforts on humans and show their abilities.
BBC. (2014). Animal rights. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/animals/rights/rights_1.shtml
Cochrane, A. (2013). Animal rights without liberation: Applied ethics and human obligations. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Hansson, N. & Jacobsson, K. (2014). Learning to be affected: Subjectivity, sense, and sensibility in animal rights activism. Society & Animals, 22(3), 262-288.