Animal Rights Essay

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Animal rights, legal entitlement, or morals are associated with nonhuman animals because of the complexity of their emotional, cognitive, and social lives. There is also the capacity to endure physical and emotional pain (Regan 12). Historically, different opinions relating to animal rights have influenced legal and philosophical developments, ethical and religious conceptions, human nature and scientific conceptions of animals as well as relationships between human beings and animals. There are disagreements on what animal rights mean and whether nonhuman animals have rights (Regan 13). Nevertheless, the philosophies of animal rights teach us that certain things are wrong as a matter of principle to do to animals. This essay seeks to argue for and justify the independent value and rights of animals.

Philosophy of animal rights

The philosophy of animal rights is rational particularly when it is morally wrong to nonhuman animal lacking intelligence as ‘commodities’. ‘models’ or ‘tools’. Thus, it cannot be right to treat other animals as ‘tools’ when their psychology is as rich as those found in humans (Fellenz 20). In addition, the philosophy of animal rights stresses on the need to serve those who are vulnerable and weak especially those who lack the ability to defend or speak for themselves. Therefore, it calls for acceptance that fosters growth and prevents unselfish service. The aim of philosophy of animal rights is to ensure that logic be respected. This means for any argument that discusses the independent value of human beings suggests that other animals share equally the same value (Fellenz 22). 

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Human abuses and exploitation

Human beings exploit animas in different ways, including animal experimentation, circuses, meat, or hunting. According to a report by American Dietetic Association showed that, people could remain perfectly as vegans (Cochrane 42). With respect to animal experimentation, most people would agree that testing of household products and cosmetics is unnecessary. In fact, many would argue that, animal experimentation just for the sake of science with no direct application to human health is unnecessary (Cochrane 44). This is because the satisfaction of human curiosity does not outweigh animal suffering. Although animal experimentation provides a break-through into human medical advancement, exploitation of animals cannot be morally justified.


It assumes that the accountability and responsibility of taking care of animals rests on the shoulder of human beings (Broom 12). Welfarism points out that, people use animals for various reasons and therefore, their aim is to minimize the suffering and the amount of pain that animal endures. This organization is founded on treatment, compassionate and human care. In the United States, the most popular welfarist is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Its goal is to prevent cruelty to animals across the US. Another organization is the Human Society of the United States (HSUS) established in 1955 (Broom 33). This organization focuses on protecting marine and wild animals as well as companion animals. Moreover, welfarism has ensured that such responsibility and accountability upheld by society is embedded in the form of anticruelty laws.

Animal rights Activists

Animal right activists are founded on the idea that animals are speciesism and sentient is wrong. A research by ta team of neuroscientists in 2013, declared that non-human animals have consciousness and therefore, the later is still debated among humanitarians. The argument by activists disapproves the notion that human beings are the only species requiring moral consideration (Cochrane 52). They further argued that, the only reason why humans are treated differently is that they are speciesism. On the other hand, the main reason why humans have rights is to prevent unjust suffering. Likewise, the reason for having animal rights is to prevent them from suffering unjustly (Cochrane 55). In addition, human rights are different from animal rights because humans have the power ensure that other humans have access to housing, food and can express themselves.

Animals rights in ancient Greek

According to historical sources, the proper treatment of animals goes back in ancient Greek. Roman and Greek philosophers discussed the place of animals in human morality (Fellenz 33). The Neo-Platonist and Pythagoreans emphasized respect for animal’s interests. Aristotle asserted that, nature created all animals for the sake of humans. Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher opposed the notion that humans have responsibilities towards non-humans. In his view, cruelty to animals was wrong because it was bad for humankind. He further argued that nonhuman animals exist merely as means to an end and that end is man. By 16th century, Rene Descartes one of the greatest philosopher argued that animals operated like machines that have instincts, but do not feel pain or suffer (Fellenz 34). Many critics disagreed with Descarte’s assertions after observing how animals responded to pain, fear, and hunger. In their argument, they insist that animals do deserve to live without exploitation, abuse, or harm.

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  1. Broom, Donald M. Animal Welfare. Council of Europe Publishing, 2006. 
  2. Cochrane, Alasdair. Animal Rights Without Liberation: Applied Ethics and Human Obligations. Columbia UP, 2012. 
  3. Fellenz, Marc R. The Moral Menagerie: Philosophy and Animal Rights. U of Illinois P, 2007. 
  4. Regan, T. (2003). Animal rights, human wrongs: An introduction to moral philosophy
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