Understanding three views of Animal Rights
PHI208-Ethics and Moral Reasoning
Animals, from our family pet to the wild, from little ones to big one, from ones who entertain us to human welfare and human happiness, it is hard to believe that only in recent years has mankind begin to address their welfare and their rights. Even today animal rights and their welfare continue to be a hot topic for debate and animals still have very few rights or laws to protect them from abuse and mistreatment. For many, “animals are seen as property and have little to no legal rights. Because of this status, generally there is a presumption- provided no law is violated-in favor of the owner’s control and use over the best interest of the animal” (Bjorkenstan. 2001.). This means that the owner has the right to do whatever they want with their animal, even if it is not in the animal’s best interest. Because animals cannot speak for themselves, deciding what is in their best interest is than left up to humans to decide, which I find to be ironic because, it is humans that have or will take an animal’s interest and their rights for granted. In this essay I will discuss three different ethical theories and how they apply to animal rights and their welfare. I will discuss what each theory believes, their rules, their strength and weaknesses that each theory has when it is applied to animals and their rights.
First, it is important to understand what the difference is between animal welfare and animal rights. Animal welfare and their rights have been a hot topic since the 70’s, but just what is the difference between them, animal welfare as explained by one organization, the National Association for Biomedical Research explains it like this, “is the desire to implement humane care and use standards for animals in research, testing, teaching and exhibition. Animal welfare is based on the belief that animals can contribute to human welfare by...