Who says only humans have rights. Animals have rights too although it is often overlooked by many simply because they are not up to par with the human race. They are the inferior species, it is true but it does not mean we can just trample on their rights just like that because they are living beings that can feel and get hurt too. Not everyone treats animals this way but it can’t be denied that there are those who enjoy inflicting pain and making these poor animals suffer for their own enjoyment. In the likes of these people are hunters, poachers, and everyone else who patronizes cruelty to animals in one way or the other.
Many times society has been torn as to what to feel and how to act on circumstances where animal life is not given importance at all. Science, after all, uses animals in their research and every other industry that require a testing of some sort before they can safely sell their products to their end consumers – humans. Shops that sell animal-related souvenirs or exotic delicacies are also included in this list. And if you look at it, our society has embraced some sort of tolerance to these behaviors over the years and some even consider it as part of the norm.
This dispute once again gave rise to questions about the legal personality of non-humans.
The concept of human rights is such a controversial topic because of issues that involve abuse. From centuries ago until now, human rights are constantly violated and brought up in the mainstream media. However, there is something rarely spoken of but just as crucial as well – animal rights.
Do animals have rights? It is but a valid question like human rights. Even though we think of animals as less superior than us, they are living beings too that deserve to treated right by society. But doesn’t evolution teach us that we evolved from Primates? If that’s the case, we are animals too, in a sense, right?
Abusing animals is no more justifiable than abusing people, writes Peter Tatchell. The moral touchstone is sentience, not species, and the ‘humans first’ ideology of speciesism is analogous to homophobia, racism & misogyny. Cruelty is barbarism, whether inflicted on humans or on other species. We need to recognise and accept our common animal nature.
Since we humans are an animal species, it is obvious that human rights are a form of animal rights; and that animal rights include – or should include – the human species.
Sadly, not everyone sees it this way. Many view humans and other animals as totally distinct: drawing a clear, sharp line between animal rights and human rights.
That’s not my view. Sentience is the bond that unites all animal species,