Why should animals have rights? They can’t vote. They can’t form unions or other pressure groups. They have no religion and few morals that we know of. They don’t learn the violin, or go to ballet classes, or host dinner parties. Their reasoning powers are pretty basic. So why give them rights?
Well, for a start, you can say pretty much the same thing about certain classes of humans; babies, the senile, those with severe and irreparable brain damage. Yet we don’t kill them or steal from them. We don’t keep them in cages or raise them for food. We don’t use them for laboratory experiments, even though undoubtedly it would benefit medical research enormously.
Article 4(4) of Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing provides for a derogation, in the case of slaughter prescribed by religious rites, from the usual requirement for animals to be stunned before slaughter… Read More
It’s certainly not because the animals don’t want to live, because one thing all animals share with humans is an innate desire not to be killed.
It’s not because animals can’t feel pain, for they, too, just like us, have a central nervous system and can experience acute pain.
It’s not because they can’t suffer mentally. The broad scientific view is that animals can experience not only physical pain and pleasure, but also anxiety, fear, frustration, hope, and so forth. You only have to consider the whimpering of a lonely puppy, or the distressing behaviour of animals in zoos and on factory farms, or the outward display of grief by a herd of elephants when one of its members dies or is killed, to understand that animals are capable of psychological suffering, even trauma.
The problem all these animals have is this: THEY AREN’T HUMAN. We deny them their most basic of rights over and over again, including the most basic right of all, the right to life, simply because they are not US, they are OTHER.
Animals deserve to be treated with respect, and respect for the dignity and the essence of their lives is fundamental to the animal rights position.
Animals Behind Closed Doors campaigns for an end to factory farming; that is what we put our energy and our creative minds into …. however, belief in the fundamental rights of animals is our cornerstone.