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Animal Rights

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By jmcarthur44
Words 494
Pages 2
Our group agreed with that Singers’ argument that animals should be given equal consideration

to humans, however not everyone agreed to the same extent. One of the views expressed was that

while humans care for other animals, for humans as a society to advance, they must exploit other

species along the lines of “hunt or be hunted” and “survival of the fittest.” In this way we are


Other group members agreed more strongly with Singer, saying that growing up in a time where

animal rights activists began their movement, it isn’t unusual for to believe that animals deserve

better rights. If you agree with me, under Kolberg’s stages of moral development, many of

us developed this in the first conventional level. Society was changing and becoming more

conscious about animals rights and I followed thinking it was the right thing to do because so

many people were involved saying it was the right thing to do. Singer verifies this thinking

through his many examples like questioning what’s the difference between a mentally disabled

person and a dog are concrete supportive arguments to the moral thinking that I have.

In Singer’s essay, he uses the word sentience as reasoning to why animals are entitled to equal

rights. By using sentience he is referring to all those who may feel suffering and enjoyment.

Singer says that being able to experience pain and suffering means that one has an interest that

must be taken into consideration for fairness in moral rights. He uses a rock as an example, if

a rock is kicked it has no interest – “nothing we can do to it could possibly make a difference

to its welfare.” And that is where he builds his examples of how this is a prerequisite to any


Singer wants a justification of equality that is not based on some kind of defining characteristic,

but an absolute that can be applied to all humans.

He sees using characteristics as problematic. For instance, if we use intelligence as the

determining factor in who deserves equality, the mentally disabled could be classified in the

same category as animals, though that seems intuitively, morally wrong. In addition, he argues

that using the colour of a person’s skin as an arbitrary determiner in whether someone is

deserving of equality could result in similar characterization. He uses these examples to show

that all humans are speciest.

Sentience seems to be the only available option in describing why equal treatment applies to all

humans. He shows that this attribute can also apply to animals. Therefore, he argues, we should

afford rights and consideration to animals rather than treating them as objects that exist to satisfy

our tastes, that is to raise and kill them to eat them when we do not require meat to stay alive or

even healthy.

And so it is this understanding that Singer argues why all who possess sentience are entitled to

an ‘equal consideration of interests.’

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