People often ask if animals should have rights, and quite simply, the answer is ?
Animals surely deserve to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation.
Jeremy Bethem the founder of the reforming utilitarian school of moral philosophy,
stated that when deciding on a being’s rights, “
The question is not ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?’”
In that passage, Bethem points to the capacity for suffering as the vital characteristic
that gives a being the right to equal consideration.
The capacity for suffering is not just another characteristic like the capacity for
language or higher mathematics.
All animals have the ability to suffer in the same way and to the same degree that
They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness, and motherly love.
Whenever we consider doing something that would interfere with their needs, we are
morally obligated to take them into account.
Supporters of animal rights believe that animals have an inherent worth—a value
completely separate from their usefulness to humans
We believe that every creature with a will to live has a right to live free from pain and suffering.
Animal rights is not just a philosophy—it is a social movement that challenges
society’s traditional view that all nonhuman animals exist solely for human use.
As PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk has said, “When it comes to pain, love, joy,
loneliness, and fear, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. Each one values his or her life
and each has a right to life.”
Only prejudice allows us to deny them the rights that we expect to have for ourselves.
Whether it’s based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or species, prejudice is
If you would not eat a dog, why eat a pig?
Dogs and pigs have the same capacity to feel pain, but it is prejudice based on
species that allows us to think of one animal as a companion and the other as dinner.