Animal Rights Philosophy

768 WordsApr 12, 20124 Pages
On the issue of animal rights, Carl Cohen takes on the perspective of a reformist. This means that he accepts animal experimentation and meat eating, but believes that these institutions need to be improved upon. Cohen approaches the issue of animal rights using the ideas of obligations and rights, with not only the reformist perspective, but with the speciesist perspective. The conclusion he draws is that animals do not necessarily have rights just because humans have moral obligations to animals. Cohen comes to this conclusion through an analytical series of rights and obligations. His main argument is the following: (1) Humans do have obligations to animals, (this sets him apart from abolitionists) (2) not every obligation arises…show more content…
I don not agree with Cohen’s argument simply because it arises from a bias speciesist standpoint. Cohen states that humans are autonomous, when at the same time some humans are not autonomous, and are as independent as pets. So do these humans not have rights? Cohen would once again respond by using the far-fetched theory that “animals can not be bearers of rights because rights is essentially human; it s rooted in, and has a force within, a human moral world.” (Cohen 351) This relates back to Cohen looking at Regan’s idea of animals not being moral because they cannot do right or wrong. Well if morality is based on the ability to do wrong, then that doesn’t sound like morality at all. We are not granted rights just for being human, and we certainly are not granted rights for being capable of doing
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