Animal Rights Essay

Submitted By zachwawrzaszek
Words: 1236
Pages: 5

Block 3 Green
AP English Language and Compisition
Researched Argument
6 November 2013

Animal Rights All over the world millions of animals are subject to extreme suffering for no viable reason. For example in China a species of bears are put through a painful process through which they are “milked” of their bile (Kristof). This bile is used to make homemade remedies that can be used to cure various sicknesses, however while these remedies were vital in the past, today modern science can replicate their effects in medicines. Many other examples of this needless cruelty exist such as the use of gestation crates in the processing of pigs. Gestation crates are typically so tiny that the sow inside the cage is unable to even turn around and they are confined to those crates for weeks at a time (Genoways). These are just two examples of many that showcase the pain that animals go through every day. Finally I believe since animals have a similar capacity for suffering, that they should be given rights in order to protect them from torment. There are three main philosophies of equality that are widely accepted and they are utilitarianism, contractarianism, and natural law. While it is agreed upon that utilitarianism and natural law support animal rights many opponents of animal rights use contractarianism to argue against them. Brian Luke wrote a review of a book written by Mark Rowlands and says that when properly understood contractarianism actually supports animal rights. Contractarianism states that ethical obligations arise from hypothetical agreements or contracts with each other, since it is thought that animals are unable of entering into a contract with humans or other animals that they are not equal. However Rowland argues that “No one would agree to a society with slavery if he didn’t know whether he would have to live as a slave owner or as a slave.” Rowland goes on to argue that to apply this theory then not only would one’s position in society would be unknown but there species as well (Luke). If someone’s species is also unknown then obviously no one would agree to a society that has gestation crates and vivisection.In his review he shows how philosophy supports animal rights but also realizes that “in the real world, the struggle is just beginning.” (Luke). Another supporting argument for animal rights is that animals have a similar capacity for suffering as to humans. It is known that animals are capable of feeling physical pain, but it is largely unknown that many professional studies show that animals are capable of suffering on the mental level. Ariel Schvarcz, a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at UCLA explains that animals are capable of mental suffering in the same way humans do. Ariel states that in a study “4% of people noticed that their pet developed an illness when family tension was high” (Schvarcz). This study implies that just as a parent or a child could become ill in a negative or high tension environment at home, that the pet could also be going under the same mental stress. Yet another study shows “more than 5% of the 650 military dogs deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan are “struggling with mental strains of combat nearly as much as their human counterparts” (Schvarcz). This means that just as a percentage of our soldiers suffer from PTSD, a percentage of dogs that are used over in Iraq and Afghanistan also suffer from a similar condition. These studies strengthen the argument that animals are similar in that they suffer the same way we do and therefore need rights to protect them from this suffering just as humans do. Opponents of animal rights also utilize the argument that since animals are not conceptual beings and are incapable of reasoning that they are therefore unequal to humans and do not deserve any rights or laws protecting them at all. An opponent of animal rights argues that since “Animals are neither conceptual beings nor within our social context,