Should Animals Do Not Have Rights?

1005 Words Apr 17th, 2016 5 Pages
Humans have always had a relationship with animals. Animals have always been and continues to be a source for food, work, clothing, experiments, and much more. To that, we owe them a great deal of gratitude. There has been much and ongoing debate over whether these practices are morally justified or not. Do non-human animals actually have rights? In this paper, I will argue that animals do not have rights. I will defend my claim by including arguments made by Carl Cohen and I will include possible arguments in which I address. To begin this argument, a definition of what a right is would be helpful to have a uniform understanding throughout this paper. A right is “a valid claim, or potential claim, made by a moral agent, under principles that govern both the claimant and the target of the claim” (Cohen, 91). By this definition, a right has three parts. 1. A right is a valid or potential claim. 2. The claim is made by a moral agent. 3. It is made by the claimant and the other party under governing principles. It is clear that animals immediately fail to bear rights because they do not have the ability to claim, they are not moral agents, and they do not have higher reasoning to understand the concept rights under governing principles. In the following paragraphs, I will go provide details of the three parts of the definition of a right and why animals do not qualify to have rights. Animals do not have the ability to claim. Animals do not have rights because they do not…

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