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Animal Ethics

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    Heya

    I'm doing an extended project and some responses from this topic will be very useful

    Do you believe animals should have the same rights as humans?

    Thanks
    Vx
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    It might help to define what kind of rights we're talking about here. I.e, we might think that animals should have a right to life, but we obviously do not think they should have a right to decide their government! : O

    So presumably the rights should be limited to what they're capable of. This is going to need some empirical support. I recommend reading:

    Fox, The Moral Community
    McMahan, Eating Animals the nice way
    Singer's articles on Animals
    Reagan, The Case for Animal Rights

    They're a mixture of for and against!
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    well we are animals. you need to do some tidying up before you stick this in. which rights are you talking about? which animals? for example i value the life of a hamster more than the life of a spider. i value the life of a dog more than a hamster.
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    Yeah, haha as soon as I wrote that I knew it was a bit vague

    I am more interested in the topic of farming than general animal rights discussion, so here are some questions/topics.

    - Do you believe the way animals are treated in INTENSIVE factory farms is unjust/unethical/against nature?
    - Do you believe we have the right to use animals for food/clothing/entertainment etc.
    - If you knew an animal had suffered in its life, would you eat it?
    - Do you view animals such as pigs/horses/dogs etc. different to humans, in terms of what you would do to a human and to a different animal. Do you see killing humans and other animals as different?
    - Do you see life as a heirachy (that one's really just a general interest )

    I'll post more during the summer

    Thanky Muchly
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    (Original post by VeggieGirl)
    Heya

    I'm doing an extended project and some responses from this topic will be very useful

    Do you believe animals should have the same rights as humans?

    Thanks
    Vx
    Which academic level is this for? If it's for university work I'd suggest the books mentioned above in. In addition, Speciesism by Joan Dunayer is pretty good.

    A few areas to look into:

    1. If animals have some rights, what rights would you afford them to and why?

    2. Do you distinguish between certain animals having more rights than others? If so, why?

    3. Do humans need (not to be used as a synonym for want) to use animals as much as they do? There are quite a few misconceptions about diets when it comes to both vegetarian and vegan diets. In my experience poor diets are easily more mentioned than poor omnivore diets despite the poor health with a lot of countries including our own (obesity levels etc).

    4. If animals are afforded rights, you can go beyond animal testing (you could distinguish between medical and non-medical reasons) and human consumption (meat, fish, dairy, eggs, fur, leather, silk) by looking at the number of animals in rescue centres (pets being a commodity and easily being disowned - remember seeing RSPCA adverts on the TV reminding a dog is for life and not for Christmas?), zoos, circuses and aquariums. If you view animals with commodity status you could look at the ivory trade and trading of endangered species, which has implications for disease transmission.

    5. Why do many humans only care for animals when they've become endangered or at a low population?

    6. If you're looking at meat consumption you could ask why there is criticism attached to certain slaughter methods, such as Halal/Kosher (they're the same methods), while the practice of placing a live lobster or crab in a boiling pan of water in a restaurant goes unnoticed. The same with foie gras.

    7. You could look at animal activities - fox hunting, bull fighting, dog fighting, badger baiting, hare coarsing. And perhaps you could look at why fox hunting is not completely outlawed here but dog fighting is. Issues of class perhaps? Or do legislators view dogs as being worthy of being saved from physical harm? Some people say because fox hunting is a form of pest control but it's made into a sport otherwise why the uniform?

    I've been meaning to get back to someone but can't find the quote thing after My TSR disappeared and it's gone (forget his name) so I'm sure he'll see this. He might prove some counters that I've brought up that may prove useful for you.
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    (Original post by VeggieGirl)
    Yeah, haha as soon as I wrote that I knew it was a bit vague

    I am more interested in the topic of farming than general animal rights discussion, so here are some questions/topics.

    - Do you believe the way animals are treated in INTENSIVE factory farms is unjust/unethical/against nature?
    - Do you believe we have the right to use animals for food/clothing/entertainment etc.
    - If you knew an animal had suffered in its life, would you eat it?
    - Do you view animals such as pigs/horses/dogs etc. different to humans, in terms of what you would do to a human and to a different animal. Do you see killing humans and other animals as different?
    - Do you see life as a heirachy (that one's really just a general interest )

    I'll post more during the summer

    Thanky Muchly
    -
    -Yes
    -it is possible to have animals involved without abuse abuse, though there are times when sacrifices should be made e.g saving lives
    -Need more information
    -Well I won't punch an animal nor a human, however if I were stranded on a remote island with a pig and another guy, I'd eat the pig... Animal/people aren't interchangeable here
    -I don't see this as a hierarchy, I see this as being compassionate for a species other than your own while at the same time want a result (for lack of a better word) for a appropriate proportioned sacrifice.
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    That's really interesting, thanks guys

    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    Which academic level is this for?
    Yeah I'm doing it as an additional study (Extended project qualification) for my college course. I am looking into how intensive farming affects 3 main areas: animal welfare, the environment and sustainability, and human/animal health.
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    (Original post by VeggieGirl)
    Yeah I'm doing it as an additional study (Extended project qualification) for my college course. I am looking into how intensive farming affects 3 main areas: animal welfare, the environment and sustainability, and human/animal health.

    Looks like you're going to see the issues that surround the animal welfare vs animal rights debate. I'm guessing this is for an agriculture course? In which case it may be more focused on meat rather than topics like circuses. I think I've read that plant based diets are less of a burden on the planet and feed more mouths but I could be wrong. If this is true though, then maybe You can also look inti food scares with BSE and salmonella. You could look at people's willingness to pay for more humane methods of livestock conditions and/or slaughter, e.g. free range.
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    Looks like you're going to see the issues that surround the animal welfare vs animal rights debate. I'm guessing this is for an agriculture course? In which case it may be more focused on meat rather than topics like circuses. I think I've read that plant based diets are less of a burden on the planet and feed more mouths but I could be wrong. If this is true though, then maybe You can also look inti food scares with BSE and salmonella. You could look at people's willingness to pay for more humane methods of livestock conditions and/or slaughter, e.g. free range.
    It's not for a specific course, I'm doing it alongside chem, bio and maths for my 3 A-Levels. We can do it on anything we want, and it's something that i've been interested in doing for a while being a particular interest.

    Yeah; there's so much I can talk about, lots in terms of animal welfare and the impact on the environment in terms of space, peak fuel etc. And the antibiotic use in factory farms would be very interesting to talk about as well, as well as zoonoses; I might be able to draw knowledge from my subjects
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    Animal suffering is inescapable in the civilized world. However, I do think people need to work harder to enforce ethical laws for conscious beings (dolphins, apes, elephants, possibly some more).
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    This opens up a nice paradox. If you think animals have the same rights as humans, you think they would share the right that humans have to not be subject to an ethical system external to their own or foreign to their own. We fight fascism and theocracy for this very reason, we have the right to not be subjected to alien morality. Is it not the case then, that applying human ethics to animals is a breach of this very important part of human morality itself?
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    (Original post by FrigidSymphony)
    This opens up a nice paradox. If you think animals have the same rights as humans, you think they would share the right that humans have to not be subject to an ethical system external to their own or foreign to their own. We fight fascism and theocracy for this very reason, we have the right to not be subjected to alien morality. Is it not the case then, that applying human ethics to animals is a breach of this very important part of human morality itself?
    Interesting point. I guess the real question isn't if they should the same rights as humans, it's how many human rights should apply to animals as well. Which I guess would encompass everything BUT being able to choose their own morals... :P
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    (Original post by WhatsHisFace)
    Interesting point. I guess the real question isn't if they should the same rights as humans, it's how many human rights should apply to animals as well. Which I guess would encompass everything BUT being able to choose their own morals... :P
    And then you simply end up falling down a spiral of ad hoc fallacies.

    In my case, I consider my right to live a healthy, protein and iron filled life of more importance than either an imagined animal morality or the attempts of hippies to make up for personal inadequacy by projections of guilt.
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    (Original post by FrigidSymphony)
    And then you simply end up falling down a spiral of ad hoc fallacies.

    In my case, I consider my right to live a healthy, protein and iron filled life of more importance than either an imagined animal morality or the attempts of hippies to make up for personal inadequacy by projections of guilt.
    But do you not feel remorse for the fact that your 'protein and iron filled life' is at the consequence of an animal that has had no life? Having been stuck inside all its life and forced to behave in a way that is entirely unnatural?

    I'm speaking from a vegetarian perspective here obviously! And assuming that you do not buy higher welfare meat - which of course correct me if i'm wrong - its just its interesting to see what people think.
    Just that's why I couldn't sleep at night before, knowing that by eating these animals I was contributing and supporting the industry that maximised profit and convenience over welfare, actually GOOD food, and jeopardising local community farming.

    Everyone thinks i'm a hippy - mostly because of the fact that I have an interest in grungy new age clothing and pantaloons - but thats not the point! I wouldn't say its making up for any personal inadequacy - guilt I could agree with however. I feel guilty everyday that I eat dairy and eggs knowing how those animals are also suffering.

    Thanks for the posts though - it's very interesting
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    i think we don't have the right to distinguish between animals.
    our distinction are mostly based on how similar an animal is to us or on how cute it is.
    this is simply too biased and not fair.
    that's why i think non human animals should have no rights at all, noone complains when i kill hundreds of insects by driving.
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    (Original post by moritzplatz)
    i think we don't have the right to distinguish between animals.
    our distinction are mostly based on how similar an animal is to us or on how cute it is.
    this is simply too biased and not fair.
    that's why i think non human animals should have no rights at all, noone complains when i kill hundreds of insects by driving.
    It's such a grey area because no one knows where to draw the line. I try my best to not step on ants for example but when I do accidently I don't get arrested for it. But if I were to kill a pig, I could get jailed for it.
    Where do you stop and say - 'that's not right'.

    There's also the questions surrounding protection for animals. I know that giant panda's recieve some of the biggest donations, when animals such as critically endangered species of insect recieve virtually nothing at all.
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    (Original post by VeggieGirl)
    It's such a grey area because no one knows where to draw the line. I try my best to not step on ants for example but when I do accidently I don't get arrested for it. But if I were to kill a pig, I could get jailed for it.
    Where do you stop and say - 'that's not right'.

    There's also the questions surrounding protection for animals. I know that giant panda's recieve some of the biggest donations, when animals such as critically endangered species of insect recieve virtually nothing at all.
    it's all about how cute or beautiful some animals are.

    protection for animals is one of the clearest example of how selfish we are
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    Considering that humans are essentially animals just like any other, albeit considerably more intelligent, animal rights and the support thereof are an affirmation that human life is valuable. I say this because if we as humans rear millions of animals only to be killed, and consider them expendable and not in possession of a ' soul ' or any significant identity, how are we meant to, being animals ourselves?
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    (Original post by MJOwen)
    Considering that humans are essentially animals just like any other, albeit considerably more intelligent, animal rights and the support thereof are an affirmation that human life is valuable. I say this because if we as humans rear millions of animals only to be killed, and consider them expendable and not in possession of a ' soul ' or any significant identity, how are we meant to, being animals ourselves?
    nonsense.

    hope you'll realize that at some point
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    (Original post by moritzplatz)
    nonsense.

    hope you'll realize that at some point
    Are human beings not animals? From our position of superiority we often forget that we are very much animals, regardless of how refined, intelligent and cultured we are. Obviously, we are not like animals, but there is no magical distinction between human and animal. I don't see what's so outrageous about that?

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