Animals Should Have the Same Rights as Humans
Do you know that more American households have pets than have children? People are spending more money on pet food than on baby food, and there are more dogs in the United States than the amount of people in Europe. In the United States, more than 100 groups are interested in the welfare of animals, and the focus of their activities. We believe animals should have the same rights as humans. We often say that we love animals and that we consider our pets to be part of the family, but we sometimes draw the line at animal rights.
Is it not enough that we treat them as we do humans? Should animals have rights? If so, what rights should animals have? How are those rights different from our human rights? The idea of animal’s protection laws is not anything new. The government started making laws against animal cruelty in the 19th century and continues to go on today. During the 17th century religions had a big impact on the way animals were treated. Muslims were to treat animals with kindness; the Prophet Muhammad cut off the sleeve of his own shirt instead of disturbing a cat that was sleeping on it. The first known SPCA’s and the Humane Societies were found in the United States in the late 1860s. During World War II, animals were used to keep elderly people company.
43% of United State households today have a pet, there is an estimated 51 to 58 million dogs and the number of cats has grown rapidly from 49 to 60 million. In the opinion of Congressman Henry Cuellar, “Animals comfort, protect, entertain, and sustain us. It is important for all of us to make sure that bond works to benefit animals and people, and create a more humane and sustainable world.” Humans are using animals for human amusement and not knowing how awful the animals are treated. Zoos must provide humane standards of care that require creation of natural habitats with ample areas for exercise and socialization, appropriate diets, and a suitable climate control.
The problem is few zoos meet those standards. Animals will either pace back and forth when the environment that they are forced to live in be too small. These are stereotypes that cause many people great concern and are an indication of poor welfare. If the cost to take care of the animals becomes too high for the Zoo’s to maintain then the zoo will no longer reap the benefits from the entertainment dollars or if the animals are becoming too old to bring in paying customers, then the animals are discarded. Whales and dolphins normally travel 40-100 miles daily, when they’re in captivity they do not have the space to do that.
Whales and dolphins also can develop skin problems from living in heavily chlorinated water which is another concern. According to Jon Turteltaub, “In some deep way, animals make us more human, and more humane.” Animals shouldn’t be treated differently depending on their species, every animal should be equal. People think nonhuman animals are not able to feel pain therefore; humans don’t think they should have rights. Non-human animals have some similar characteristics to those of humans. For example, various non-human animals have been shown to register pain, compassion, and memory.
Spindle cells which are found in humans are also found in animals which cause self-awareness, compassion and even empathy. For over 35 years researchers have been demonstrating through tests both in the laboratory and in the field that the capacities of nonhuman animals to solve complex problems form a continuum with those of humans. Among researchers, the most widely replicated test over the last ? century was the response of stimuli. Since animal products are increasing today humans are beginning to take advantage. States have decided to protect the animals we are using in experiments, and those we consume.Since the increase of animal products more people want to make awareness of animal welfare.
Industrialization of farming-billions of animals were raised and killed for food on a scale not possible. On today’s factory farms, animals are packed in by the thousands into dirty, windowless sheds and stuffed into wire cages, and steel crates, these animals will never raise their own families, build nests, or do anything that is natural and important to them. Most won’t even feel the rays of the sun or breathe fresh air until the day they’re loaded onto trucks headed for houses to be slaughtered. The farming industry strives to maximize output while reducing costs, always at the animals’ expense. The giant businesses that run most factory farms have found that they can make more money by squeezing as many animals as possible into small, confined spaces, though many of the animals do not survive from disease or infection, and feel confined and restricted. Every year, many animals die because of animal testing around the world.
An animal shelter run by a society dedicated to ethical treatment of animals found that the percentage of animals killed is nearly 95% while adoption is less than 1%. PETA employees kill 84% of animals in custody within 24 hours. Most are healthy not showing any behavioral problems. Most countries around the world including the United States have few laws to regulate what can be done to research animals. Each year more than 100 million animals are killed in the US labs for chemical, drug, food, and cosmetic testing. In testing, animals are put through experiments that can include everything from testing new drugs to infecting the animal with diseases.
It also can include burning the animal’s skin, causing brain damage, implanting electrodes into the brain, blinding, and other painful procedures. It can include procedures that cause severe suffering, such as long-term social isolation, not providing enough food or water, electric shock treatments and separating infants from their mothers. Many, if not most, animals die before the end of the study. With the exception of chimpanzees, animals that make it through the research and testing will be killed after the study is completed. Theodora Capaldo, EdD, states “Existing legal requirements for statutory duty of care for great ape psychological well-being are not sufficient, met, or enforced. While labs know the cause and impact of stress on chimpanzees, they fail to adequately protect chimpanzees’ psychological well-being.
” Some people believe that animals should not have human rights because they’re not people. There is no morally relevant difference between human animals and adult mammals. Human beings and adult mammals have rights because they are similar to us. Selling, buying, breeding, confining and killing animals invade on animal rights-no matter how humanely they are treated. People believe that if we don’t take advantage of animals and resources they provide then they will over populate. The reason that animal right activists want animals to have rights is to prevent them from suffering unjustly.
The animal rights movement positions as part of, not apart from, the human rights movement. The same viewpoint that insists upon and defends the rights of nonhuman animals also insists upon and defends the rights of human beings. At a practical level, the choice thoughtful people face is not between helping humans and helping other animals. One can do both without continuing to torture the animals of this world. People do not need to eat animals in order to help ones that are less privileged, for example, any more than they decide to use cosmetics that have been tested on animals in order to help children. In fact, people who do respect the rights of nonhuman animals, by not eating them, will be in better health, in which case they actually will be able to help human beings even more.
We are born with rights such as power, life, and happiness and use them in our everyday lives. However, humans think that animals don’t deserve those equal rights. Animals are entitled to a painless, content life in their own natural environments with the ability to roam free and not be confined it tight spaces, as well as we do. I believe with the experience of taking care of three cats and one dog that has been with me for almost 11 years that it is my opinion that they feel very much the same emotions that humans feel. Two of my cats were born as twins, one female and one male.
I am sure if one left this earth before the other; the other would mourn and not be the same cat that they are today.