Are Animals Equal to Humans?

Are Animals Equal to Humans?

Molly Fisher
October 10th 2012
Women, Animals, Nature
Third Writing Assignment
Are animals equal to humans?
Humans are the most successful evolutionary animals known to ever exist to this day. There are endless accomplishments of man; from learning to start a fire to survive the cold, to the ability to hunt game for food, to the discovery of the vaccine, to the invention of incredibly fast transportation, to the fabrication of Wi-Fi, to the ability to connect to others around the world with a simple device called the iPhone. Without doubt, no other species has come to rival our intelligence and ability to progress and adapt to new environments. The value of a human life is so extraordinary because of the potential of the human intellect. Furthermore, it is because our extensive spectrum of emotions including the ability to empathize for others. This is the ultimate evidence of the greatness of man. Yet the question remains: is it wrong to choose a baby’s life over the life of an animal? Undeniably, animals are not equal to humans however, this doesn’t justify the horrors of animal cruelty that go on in today’s world.
In evolutionary terms, we are biologically programmed to choose human life over a life of another species. If we didn’t follow this instinct we never would have been able to evolve. None of the above accomplishments would ever have happened. Likewise, animals that are intelligent don’t consider themselves equal to humans. They also don’t consider their own species above humans. All species value the life of the same species. Furthermore, according to Aristotle’s hierarchy of life only humans have a “rational soul” that gives us the ability to think logically and intellectually. It also allows us to think beyond ourselves in bigger terms of the environment. Any animal that even comes close to matching human intelligence like a dolphin is thus morally wrong to exploit (i.e. to eat for a meal or use for experimentation).
Peter Singer in his...

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