Animal Rights and Speciesism

Speciesism is characterized as the practice of treating various sentient beings differently morally for unjust reasons. This is a form of prejudice aimed at people who do not belong to a specific species. Human beings have a duty to protect and treat all non-human species with dignity. Animals, like humans, have feelings and suffer, and they need protection in the form of laws or other means (Wreen, 2011). Animals deserve fair treatment, which ensures that they will be treated differently and have different rights. While not all animals will be treated fairly, all animals should be treated with the dignity that they deserve.
The Argument
I disagree with the sentiment the nonhuman animals possess that more of the essential human properties of the actual person should be entitled to have more rights than the deficient man. The idea of treating all animals equal should be in consideration of satisfying their needs and interests and not what they are capable and incapable of doing. It is true that non-human animals possess characteristics that humans do not have. Some animals have the ability of echolocation, magnetic sense, infrared vision, and electric sense of which all of them surpass the capabilities of humans (Fukuda-Parr, 2011). However, if we were to base equality on definitive characteristics, some people would lack them thus being viewed less-equal on this foundation. A good example is that of a comparison between a baby and a chimpanzee. A baby is more reliant upon the external sources as they cannot thrive on their own whereas the chimpanzee, is less reliant on external sources, and they are capable of living and thriving on their own (Rowlands, 2013). This shows that chimpanzees possess more of the essential human properties than human babies. So, does this mean that chimpanzees should have more value than infants? It would be wrong to view a chimpanzee as more deserving of more rights than a human baby.
If intelligence was to be put as a criterion for rights, then it means that infants and those who are suffering from severe mental illness should be treated in the same way a monkey or a pig is treated. The idea is that it is better for the equality of consideration to all species values rather than on their abilities. Rights are not limited to humans alone, but some animals as well can be right-holders (Degrazia & Hunt, 2015). Animal rights defender Regan argues that every person as an individual has some unique and distinctive value which he refers to as an inherent value. He claims that the basis of having rights is not as a result of autonomy, rationality, or some other quality but it is based on the inherent value. Peter Singer claims that the ability of an animal or human to suffer is reason enough for them to be entitled to equal consideration and respect (Kagan, 2015). His argument is that with the principle of equality and the shared capacity for feeling pain and pleasures both humans and non-human animals should get the opportunity of having their interests weighed equally to get the proper legal protections for both of them.
An opposing argument
In many ways, Regna dismisses Singers case as an invalid and arbitrary concept because he failed to mention the ground rights. His Kantian belief and approach are that animals deserve the same treatment as humans. His intrinsic value argument states that any being that experiences life should have welfare care so that they do not feel as their lives are purposed to sever the other. The inherent value, in this case, is the unearned amount of respect that should be equally felt by all beings. Regan argues that the animals also have the intrinsic value and therefore they should not be mistreated for the benefit of the human.
When I first saw Reagan’s argument, I swayed the idea of the inherent value a bit but later dismissed it. The reason is that his argument only justifies the equality of all sentient beings. However, despite the fact that I disagree with him, there is one thing I trust about his position which is the intrinsic value every species possesses. The idea has made me an advocate of speciesism because of the importance of perception. For instance, I now see the reason why a dog has more value than a cow simply because of their preferences and feelings and not because of their capacity. Dogs have a higher value because human recognize them as compassionate and loving beings.
Conclusion
Both Singer and Reagan rely on the capacity appeals of the animals either through pleasure or personal experience of pain. When one talks about the animal’s rights, the other believes that there must be a notion that the animal has to suffer. As indicated earlier, I have a strong feeling concerning this view because am always an animal lover. I grew up with a dog, shared a home with two cats and cared for farm animals. In sum, for a peaceful survival of the rational being and the animals, our legal systems should have legal protections for the unjustified animal rights. This is because most marginal humans argue that they are potential traders and so the justification of animal rights should not be legalized.

References
Degrazia, D., & Hunt, L. H. (2016). Arguments Based on Rights and Arguments Based on Facts. Debating Gun Control, 2, 20-25. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190251253.003.0002
Fukuda‐Parr, S. (2011). The Metrics of Human Rights: Complementarities of the Human Development and Capabilities Approach. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 12(1), 73-89. doi:10.1080/19452829.2011.541750
Kagan, S. (2015). Singer on Killing Animals. The Ethics of Killing Animals, 1, 136-153. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199396078.003.0009
Rowlands, M. (2013). Tom Regan: Animal Rights as Natural Rights. Animal Rights, 4(1), 87-119. Doi: 10.1007/978-1-349-26780-4_5
Wreen, M. (2011). In Defense of Speciesism. Ethics and Animals, 5(3), 14-112. doi:10.15368/ea.1984v5n3.1

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