Hi, need to submit a 750 words paper on the topic The Rights of Animals. It will support Singer’s argument and present logical reasons to state the case. It will also dispel common fallacies of the opposition view and confront the objections raised most often
A vegetarian diet is as healthy as a diet containing meat and in many cases has been shown to be healthier. Meat is not necessary to feed mankind as the amount of vegetable nutrition required to produce meat far outpaces the food value of the meat produced. Having accepted that we can subsist adequately on a vegetarian diet, it becomes imperative that we consider the rights of animals and extend moral dignity to all species.
To explore the rights of animals, as equals, mandates that we first define equality as it relates to humans. We do not define equal rights for humans in terms of our willingness to overlook our differences. All humans have physical differences and diverse capabilities. These differences. mental agility, physical prowess, and beauty are accepted as part of being human. This can be illustrated with our concept of equality as it relates to differing ages, the ability to play music, or being multi-lingual. These differences do not limit a human’s right to equality. Being equal is not a mere matter of accepting our differences. This absurd extension of reasoning would justify treating a bridge as equal to a human. Our differences are not relevant to the argument. The definition of equality lies not in our ability to overlook difference, but to identify and acknowledge what common thread binds us as human beings.
When we examine the human race to determine where our sameness lies, physical and cognitive attributes are soon discarded. The wide range of attributes on the physical plane among humans immediately rejects anything material as sameness. We must therefore look to mental conditions, and awareness of that condition, to evaluate our sameness. On a simple plane of mental agility, we recognize differences in our abilities at work and in scholarly endeavors. Our sameness lies beyond our brain’s ability to calculate and resides in deeper levels of consciousness. We ascribe our sameness to self-awareness, concept of past and future, and the ability to feel emotion. These are the concepts that are presumed to be unique to humans by those willing to disregard the rights of animals.
Self-awareness is not the sole property of the human race. Animals are acutely aware of their self, their image, and their limitations. A cat will groom itself and will understand where the cat ends and the rest of the universe begins. Animals express their self-awareness in many aspects and in all species. Birds will display plumage and color to attract a mate. They will signal their mate with audible as well as visual indications. They are expressing their self-awareness.
The human concept of past and future is reflected in our ability to learn from mistakes, plan for the future, and our appreciation of history. Animals routinely learn from trial and error. The error may result in inhumane punishment as in a training situation when a dog learns obedience. Animals obviously learn to hunt and adjust their method based on success or failure. Hunting and socialization is passed from each generation to the younger members of animal societies. As well as they learn and remember the past, it may also be shown that they exhibit grief at the death of a mate or social group member.