A New Look at an Old Argument: Animal Rights
Because animals are property, we treat every issue involving the use of treatment of them as an emergency situation analogous to a burning house with a human and a dog trapped inside with only time to save one or the other. The result is that we choose the human interest over the animal even in situations where animal suffering can be justified only by human convenience, amusement, or pleasure. In the overwhelming number of instances in which we evaluate our moral obligations to animals, there is no true conflict or emergency. Gary Francione states that when we are contemplating "whether to eat a hamburger or buy a product tested on a rat, or whether a rodeo or bullfight is a morally acceptable form of entertainment, we are not confronted with a burning house and the choice of whom to save" (Francione 153).
If we recognize that animals have a basic right not to be treated as our resources, and we abolish those institutions of animal exploitation that assume that animals are nothing but our resources just as we abolished human slavery, we will stop producing animals for human purposes and thereby eliminate the overwhelming number of these false conflicts in which we must balance human and animals interests. We will no longer drag animals into the burning house, and then ask whether we should save the human or the animal.
- A Look at Huckleberry Finn and the Many Themes Being Portrayed through the Book
- A New Look at an Old Argument: Animal Rights
- Humanity Is the Greatest Failure of Evolution
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