The Importance of Equal Rights for Animals

The article All Animals are Equal advocates for the rights of animals in the society. Written by Peter Singer, the text suggests that human beings ought to treat other animals with car, and provide them with a treatment that is akin to that which is extended to other human beings. To infer his conclusion, Singer relies on various premises. Mainly, the author argues that “the ethical principle on which human equality rests requires use to extend equal consideration to animals too” (Singer 1). The specific section to be examined, makes a plea of morality on the advocates of human equality.             Mainly, Peter Singer sought to convey the need for respect and equal treatment of animals by human beings through the examination of the contention that underlined A Vindication of the Rights of Brute by Thomas Taylor.

            Markedly, Singer called for the review of the human moral compass in the attainment of equal rights for animals. Based on the premise, equality should be viewed as an idea of morality rather than imposition of fact. Thus, “equality is a moral ideal, not an assertion of fact” (Singer 3). Human beings will be called upon to redefine the limits of moral compass to inspire empathy for animals. There are actions which are normally considered to normal and natural. Such actions are predicated on the metrics set forth by human beings. However, the principles need redefining because they cannot be imposed on animals since they are subject to different features and actions which lead to different outcomes. The assertion to the element of morality facilitates the creation of distinction between forms of discrimination in the society. While many individuals have acknowledged the significance of moral consideration as a basic moral principle, the claim is often rendered inadmissible when the argument is applied to other species other than human beings.

            Alternatively, the differences between human beings and animals are often based on the disparities in physical features. Singer calls the differences “factual differences”. However, the author makes an argument against the claim to physical differences as the basis upon which equality is predicated. Notably, it would be hypocritical for human beings to argue for equal rights among themselves while negating the possibility of the same towards the animals. Human beings, despite the reinforcement of respect and equality, project significant differences. Regardless of the differences, recent times have witnessed an increase in calls for the eradication of various forms of discrimination such as racism, sexism. Singer argues that “it is in accordance with this principle that speciesism is also to be condemned” (4). Subsequently, there is need to protect animals against the impositions of “speciesism”.

            The strength of the article also lies in the ability of the author to reflect on the humane arguments that are imposed in the justification of unequal treatment in the society. One popular argument that is often invoked in justifying the principle of inequality in animal treatment suggests that animals were created to promote the sustainability and health of human beings. However, Springer poses the question “would the experimenter be prepared to perform his experiment on the orphaned human infant, if that were the only way to save many lives” (6). The statement alludes to the unfairness of the principle of inequality as imposed on animals. There is an inherent favor that underlies human-human interaction and engagement. Unfortunately, such favor is not carries onto animals and is limited to the human experiences.

            Still, the allusion to animals’ capacity to enjoy good life by the author is an unproven concept. Applying the philosophy set forth by William Frankena in the text “The Concept of Social Justice”, Singer contends that the principle of equality as human beings is often validated by the assertions to the emotional and mental comprehensibility of human beings (7). Notably, it is true that the ability to think calls warrants respectful thinking. It is possible that animals may not be in a position to determine whether they being subjected to unequal treatment. Subsequently, even in the extension of respect for their rights, the animals may be unable to discern the differences. Equally, the concept of distinctive human dignity, despite the contrary opinion projected by Singer, is admissible. Thus, human beings have an inherent dignity that does not apply to animals. While such dignity is washed away by actions or behavioral patterns that are contrary to the expectations on human beings, the same explanation cannot apply to animals since their actions are guided by primal instinct.

            Conclusively, in the article All Animals are Equal, Peter Singer makes a valid claim to the need for the extension of the principle of equality to animals. Notably, the author’s strength lies in his ability to invoke various philosophical tenets in the justification of the claim to the equality of animals and human beings. Equally, the appeal to moral ideal facilitates the succinct projection of the importance of the principle of equality as is applied on animals. Still, the article’s weakness lies in the negation of the element of inherent human dignity.

Work Cited

Singer, Peter. "All animals are equal." Animal Rights. Routledge, 2017.

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