Response to Prompt 3: Animals Rights and Speciesism

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If there is no sharp division between humanity and animals, as Peter Singer would like people to believe, then humans and animals would be equal. More specifically it would mean that animals and people deserve to be treated the same, there would no longer be a separation between animal rights and human rights they  would just be rights (I don’t know what they would actually be called since this is completely hypothetical). I can understand wanting to improve the lives of animals but I cannot agree that making animals and people is the best course of action. However it is clear that something must be done to bridge the gap in morality between animals and people.

I do believe that animals shouldn’t be forced to be exposed to unnecessary pain just as humans especially at the hands of insignificant human interests. Wanting more sheen in your hair does not justify the deaths or irreversible crippling of animals. However I do not agree with Peter Singer and Tom Regan that all animal experimentation must come to an end. It is not the ideal tool but it is the best option. Many of our strides in medical treatment could not have been made possible without the benefits of animal experimentation and this is why I don’t believe we can completely forgo animal experimentation.

This is a little off topic but it is interesting to me how much people have invested in promoting animal rights when human rights may be internationally known but they have not been internationally adopted. There are still ‘crimes against humanity’ all over the world and they have yet to be fixed. How can people expect to bridge the gap of equality between species when we are still dealing with inequality in ours? I always think about the phrase “Charity begins at Home” which basically means you cannot do good elsewhere until you’ve done good at home.

Peter Singer would have us view humans and animals as equals to the point where if you had the choice to save a person or a dog you might pick the dog. I personally cannot support this due to my belief that you should always help your fellow man and it is unfortunate that this negatively effects other species but I don’t think we can afford relinquishing animal testing.

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2 responses »

  1. I really like your response a lot. I think that if given the choice between no animal testing at all, and extremely cruel animal experimentation, the better choice would perhaps be to end animal testing. I also liked your little rabbit trail about how charity begins at home. That’s definitely something with which Polyface Farm would agree.
    I understand that we are given a relatively short word count and asked to respond to relatively difficult questions. However, I really would have really liked to have seen you throw in a suggestion or two on how to bridge the morality gap between humans and animals.

  2. While I understand the point you’re making, I think that people often “pick the dog” and are therefore more amenable to Peter Singer’s view. For example, if you had a $20 monthly budget to feed your dog OR donate to the hungry, where would you allocate that money? If the answer was always “feeding the hungry,” it’s hard to say whether many people would have pet dogs.

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