Moral Responsibility to Nonhuman Animals

Updated May 24, 2021

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Moral Responsibility to Nonhuman Animals essay

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Nonhuman animals are important in human life. It has many specific roles in our lives from many thousand years ago until today. Some scientist showed us evidences about human development which relating to the evolution of chimpanzees as we are also one of features of animal. There are many aspects involved in nonhuman animal controversial topic. Some people support to accept the practice as necessary for food and testing, while some are arguing for animal’s right and protection.

The New York Times has a view for that. They concerned about the political rights for nonhuman animals in society. It is important to look into valuable information to make our own perspectives. Should people allowed to use nonhuman animals in different ways for our purpose? There is necessary to protect animals for ethical issues for future generations.

As the article “We are not the only political animals” in the New York Times, Justin Smith, explained for us about nonhuman animal’s political issues. He brought many evidences and facts presenting the political rights of animals. He said as old ideas believe that human beings are the only species that live in politics because we are living in villages, states, cites, communities while other animals live outside of society so they are not political, consideration of human’s interest.

However, he gave us the facts that animal still have their own political system, for example, Elephant plans to build attacks on human settlements to restore those who slaughtered their lovers, or ant’s colony system; Aristotle reports for elephant intelligence, animal politics as structure in animal’s world same as in human society. Some theorists focus on relational obligation of animals in human beings in different ways of human society, so that animals also in political background. Human political formations have been closely connected with changes in groups and domestication and animal has same process.

So, it is concerned to be political? It is hard to say civilization is but there could be no civilization without domestications. Some countries have political rights for animals like ancient Greece and Sumer. He also stated idea about Nazis and Jews problem to show relevant about political progress. Animals was killed in hunter-gatherer and early pastoral societies, but it does not show it is not morality, so we should concern about lines of politic.

For this argument, we make an ethical question about should we necessarily use animals for our purposes in social surviving? And we can have some ethical problems which will raises around this question. First, most people confirm animals are served as food, which is usually prepared in meal times. The use of animals for food is probably the oldest and most common form of animal use. The most common norm is that we use animals as our pleasures and interests.

We consumed that animals are objects which is full of nutrients for our health. More than that, we like the tastes of meat, it is tasted better than plants; the farming production with many new developing technologies makes animals product easily. But those are all converted with some recent facts and evidences right now. Researches show that animal is not necessary for good health or longevity. According to one green planet website, “human can survive on a completely plant-based diet.” And scientist stated “plant also contains all vitamins and nutrients that human body needs”. It is not real meat for us with chains of artificial food that people made for them.

Second, we use animals in our experiences for all aspects because researchers often claim that animal testing helps us to discovery about human’s biological world. As the comparing, animal should have same respect like us. For example, if we use monkey to do experiences about psychological reactions, we let them starving and they have to find food by themselves, then we must know that they are also in stress situation like us, they have some angry behaviors in this surviving case.

The reason is that human and animal have same biological system so they can feel like us. People sometimes think that animal testing is important to serve medical purpose. But it is wrong. Some companies test for new products like shampoo or cosmetics, they have to check many times on animals for giving the final product that is effective for us, it causes the death of innocent animals. We seem to be too selfish because of scarifying of animal’s lives, while we already have enough good products for our living.

On the other hand, there are some people argue that animals should be used by us for different benefits as we want. Some argue that animals can eat each other, so why we should not eat them. According to the philosophy outlook website, this might be called the Benjamin Franklin Objection. He told us his story that he was a vegetarian but after he saw his friend preparing a big fish for him, he was surprised about inside its stomach is smaller fishes. And that’s why he stops vegan eating habit from that time. Franklin said “If you eat one another, I don’t see why we may not eat you.” However, animals have to eat each other for surviving because they have no choice, while human can survive without meat.

Nonhuman animals don’t have ability to consider alternatives so that we can’t tell them how their diet should be. In addition, some said that animals do not have ability to think so they can not have any rights in our society. According to ThoughtCo. website, it is necessary to think for action of rights, if the right to think, then some people like infants and mentally incapacitated people are unworthy of rights, while some non-human beings can have the capacity to think like children. Then the person deserves the right.

Tolerance is meaningful as a criterion for holding rights, because the purpose of rights is to ensure that those who can be affected if their rights are not recognized are not allowed to tolerate excessively. As Mahatma Ghandi, a politician, said, ‘The greatness of a nation can be judged by its animals being treated.’ If we do not think the animal in the picture is suffering, we are in a lazy land. Animals have central nervous system like humans. That’s where pain signals do their thing. There is no reason to believe that human pain centers are less stressful than non-human ones.

In my opinion, I tend to support animal’s rights. As Justin Smith stated in the New York Times that he didn’t mention clearly his idea about protecting animals, but he listed a lot of reasons for nonhuman animals’ politics which is allowed to have full right of human. We are all human and we also were domesticated during human developing progress.

It is also happening constantly with our animals, nowadays. For example, we are using dogs as our pet for watching house and properties, and dogs come from wolves. Animals have right of protection and caring. They are really helpful in our lives. Animals used for rehabilitation dogs are trained to provide emotional and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, people with learning disabilities. Patients and the elderly want to spend time with animals.

Animal-assisted treatments are often used for healing. Animals used for Animal Safety & Security such as dogs are usually kept to protect the owner and his or her home. Dogs are used to track objects and people by using their sense of smell. Animals like monkeys are trained to feed animals near the airport. Animals used to detect silent bombs buried underground. We should not use animals as food and experiences indeed they are function for us and we still live healthy without eating any meat.

All in all, nonhuman animals have their own politics or rights as human being. The reason is that we cannot deny how important roles they have in our society. We should concern our purpose and method without harming them every time we use animals for our perspectives. Preventing the abuse of millions of animals are conscious in the benefits of science, education, food, entertainment and clothing. We really owe it to them to use what we know on their behalf and to compassion for our treatment of these wonderful creatures.

Works Cited

  1. Agbortoko, Richard. “The Benjamin Franklin Objection: When Reality Clashes with Theory.” A Philosophical Outlook: Ethics, Morality and Reality, 25 March 2007, http://philosophyoutlook.blogspot.com/2007/03/benjamin-franklin-objection-when.html. Accessed 28 May 29, 2018.
  2. Lin, Doris. “The Top Arguments Against Animal Rights.” ThoughtCo., 7 August 2017, https://www.thoughtco.com/top-arguments-against-animal-rights-127630. Accessed 28 May, 2018.
  3. Smith, Justin. “We Are Not the Only Political Animals.” The New York Times, 2 Nov. 2014, opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/we-are-not-the-only-+political-animals/. Accessed 28 May, 2018.
  4. Tan, Kimberly. “It’s Right to Give Animals Rights.” Huffpost, 30 June 2012, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/kimberly-tan/animals-have-rights-too_b_1456393.html. Accessed 28 May 29, 2018.
Moral Responsibility to Nonhuman Animals essay

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