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The Case for Animal Rights Essay

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"The Case For Animal Rights" written by Tom Regan, promotes the equal treatment of humans and non-humans. I agree with Regan's view, as he suggests that humans and animals alike, share the experience of life, and thus share equal, inherent value.

To begin with, Regan argues that people tend to believe that animals are 'unaware' of pain, and because humans are capable of announcing when in pain, it is thus considered morally wrong to harm a human being, than an animal. This type of thinking falls under the indirect duty views, which suggests that animals have no connected relationship, or direct link to humans, unlike humans have to their own species. Regan explains that disregarding animals as being capable of experiencing pain is morally wrong in itself, as is the indirect duty views (1989).

Secondly, Regan introduces a second view, known as contractarianism. Although he suggests many flaws in this view, he also agrees that it somewhat supports his view of inherent value. This particular view identifies that since humans have the capability of understanding rules, they are capable of accepting and practising moral doings, and avoiding immoral acts. Thus, humans beings have every right to be treated with respect. Regan explains that this is problematic, because children are not necessarily capable of the same level of thinking as adults, meaning that the view mentioned above cannot be applied. Inspite of this, children do have every right to have protection, simply because they have parents or guardians that take on this so called "contract". Regan argues that if this is the case with children, then why cannot animals also have a contract?, as they do not also have the same level of thinking as an average adult. Nonetheles...


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...f you are unlikely to treat a human being in a disrespectful and hurtful way, then why would you do the same to another breathing being, regardless of the type species it is.

In conclusion, I agree with Tom Regan’s perspective of the rights view, as it explores the concept of equality, and the concept of rightful treatment of animals and humans. If a being is capable of living, and experiencing life, then they are more than likely capable of feeling pleasure and pain, except in a few instances. If humans are still treated in a respectable and right way even if some cannot vote, or think for themselves, then it is only fair that animals who also lack in some of these abilities be treated as equals. As Regan puts it, “pain is pain, wherever it occurs” (1989).




Works Cited

Regan, Tom. "The Case For Animal Rights" University of California Press 2004



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