Animal Rights Essay

analytical Essay
1660 words
1660 words

Animal Rights
Animal rights have unequivocally been a major concern amongst humans for some time now. Animal rights are based on the notion that non-human animals should be allowed to live freely: free from abuse and suffering, as humans are. The extreme issue amongst humans is whether or not non-human animals have the capacity for rationality to deserve such equal consideration. When examining the issue of animal rights, one may have come to question one’s psyche on whether or not animal rights are ethical.
According to Aristotelian ethics, the highest goal in life is happiness. This happiness is often misinterpreted though, as most people think of happiness as a physical pleasure or honor, but this is only because they have a flawed view of the good life. Those who tend to share this viewpoint do not understand true happiness because people are generally deficient in virtue. Aristotle has a proactive conception of the good life: happiness waits only for those who go out and seize it. Happiness, according to Aristotle, is also a public affair, not a private one, so with whom we share this happiness with is of great significance. “... every substance not only possess a form; one could say it is also possessed by a form, for it naturally strives to become a perfect specimen of its kind. Every substance seeks to actualize what it is potentially” (Tarnas p.58). Aristotle also says that humans have a telos, an end or purpose, which is our goal to achieve. This telos is based on our distinct human capacity for rational thought. He also argued that the body & mind are inseparable; so when the body dies, the soul also ceases to exist. Aristotle did not believe in animal rights however, as in Politics, he claimed that nature made all an...

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... controversial conclusion, Wise had gone far beyond what any other animal rights debate had touched on, by demanding that non-human animals should have equal rights as if they were a legal person.
It can be said that animal rights is somewhat Aristotelian in inspiration, where an animal has a telos, an end or purpose that the animal must carry out. The animal may have a number of desires and needs that could lead to the realization of its telos requirements. It would not be in mankind’s best interest to derail another being’s telos, as this leads to an extreme moral dilemma. The fact that animals are alive, can feel pain, and have their own interests should give animals a protected right to life. If a human should choose to take such life, they should be able to prove that their right to live is morally superior to that of any animal whose life they decide to take.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that animal rights are based on the notion that non-human animals should be allowed to live freely, free from abuse and suffering, as humans are.
  • Explains aristotle's view of happiness as a physical pleasure or honor, which is misinterpreted because people are deficient in virtue. happiness is public, not private, so who we share it with is of great significance.
  • Analyzes how plutarch argued that animals deserve ethical rights because they possess a conscious and are rational creatures and that non-human animals have intellectual traits, interests, and desires that deserve respect from mankind.
  • Analyzes how david degrazia proposes his views on the moral status of animals in taking animals seriously: mental life and moral status.
  • Analyzes how tom regan's the case for animal rights is the most intricate piece arguing for rights for non-human animals.
  • Argues that some animal species understand the concept of "justice" and live by it.
  • Argues that animals should be allowed to have a "negative right" not be harmed, even if they cannot claim "rights" because of any intellectual traits.
  • Analyzes how steven m. wise argued for what one could strongly consider the final phase in the argument for justice for animals.
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