Argument for Animal Rights Essay

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Argument for Animal Rights

The argument for animal rights assumes that animals posses their own lives and deserve to be assigned rights in order to protect their wellbeing. This view insists that animals are not merely goods utilised only to benefit mankind and they should be allowed to choose how they want to live their lives, free from the constraints of man. But if animals are given absolute rights, then surely they shouldn’t be allowed to kill each other, as this would be a violation of these rights. Should murderous animals be administered prison sentences or even…capital punishment?

One method of preventing animals killing each other would be to provide animals with a vegetarian
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This is ironic because we are moral beings and can think about our actions, yet we kill and mistreat animals as they are lesser beings and can’t think about their actions. However, before we can answer the question of whether or not animals have the right to kill each other, we must ask whether or not they even have rights.

It can be argued that, as greater beings, we should take responsibility for the wellbeing of those species that are less developed than us, rather than using our power to manipulate and exploit them. According to Rawls’s contractualism, animals are not rational agents and humans are. This implies that, as humans are the ones who have created the concept of rights, they should only apply to humans. However, Peter Carruthers extends this theory so that it defends the rights of animals. He suggests that a rational agent could enter into a contract for an animal, representing their interests in ‘the formulation of the basic contract’. There are also some human beings who cannot speak for themselves or question their actions, for example, fetuses, infants, the comatose, the senile and the severely retarded. These people are still assigned rights despite the fact that they are not moral agents. They may make the same simple instinctive decisions as animals, yet are given rights based upon their species. It can be

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