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Speciesism: Are We Going Too Far?

  • Date Submitted: 11/04/2010 06:57 PM
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Speciesism: Are we going too far?

--The relationship between the rights of animals and peoples need to develop

  Rui Pei

2010-02-18

  To most of us a boy is in no way equal to a rat, which, according to Conniff. R, is a good example of Speciesism or racism towards another species. As he mentions in Fuzzy-Wuzzy Thinking (Audubon Magazine, 1990, p126-133), “a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” This depicts an image of equality in relation to man compared with the beast.   In my opinion, speciesism is unacceptable as animals have rights and we should treat them with respect. But the total egalitarian approach in the aforementioned text has an issue. It does not take in account mankind’s dependence on these animals for essentials. Thus this essay will talk about the attempt to find balance between the need for man to develop by consuming and using animals at varying degrees of necessity, and the resulting infringements on animal’s rights once a degree of unnecessary action is breached.

  There are many arguments regarding animal rights and the relationship between animals and human beings. The contemporary Australian philosopher Peter Singer, in the book Animal Liberation, uses a utilitarian approach to point out that interest of animals should be considered because their ability to suffer. This point mostly concurs with the ideas provided in Fuzzy-Wuzzy Thinking where it is stated “the suffering of animals was morally equivalent to the suffering of humans.” Singer strongly believes that “sentience is both necessary and sufficient to have interest (rights).”(Environmental Ethics, 1993, p124). However, the American philosopher Tom Regan approaches the same idea with the view “practices (of killing and abusing animals) are unethical in principle. They violate animals’ rights by denying the intrinsic ethical possessed by some animals”. Regan’s view adheres to the cognitive processes of Kant, who believes in the inherent values as being subject-of-a-life....

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