Humans are the most powerful species on this planet, but does that automatically give us the moral right to do whatever we want to with animals?
Many dictators and tyrants have enslaved, tortured and murdered their fellow citizens over the centuries because, for whatever reason, they felt superior and had the power to do what they wanted. On a daily basis, around the globe, animals live under a sickening dictatorship ruled over by their tyrannical human ‘masters’.
There are numerous double standards where there are animal welfare laws and agreed protocols in place for certain animals. A tiny percentage of animals are legally protected because they are on the verge of extinction, a small selection of animals are considered to be pets, but the vast majority of animals are dealt with very differently.
Most of the animals on this planet are treated like property or as a resource to be exploited. Animals of relatively high intelligence are farmed with minimal care for their well-being. Animals are killed in gruesome conditions on a mass scale every day. Around the globe natural habitats for animals are reducing each year because of the human imperative for commercial gain.
From tigers and elephants in zoos, to horse racing, to greyhound racing there are numerous forms of insidious enslavement of animals.
Animals watch as their families are killed in slaughter houses, are kept in enclosures that are too small for months or years at a time, are not allowed to exhibit their natural behaviour, and are beaten and maimed by meat industry workers and their carers. The industrialisation of animal farming has led to monetary considerations overruling basic animal welfare, which is the largest contributor to animals living a torturous existence.
Many people feel they can hunt, fish or kill almost any animal that exists on the planet. In many countries hunting is a huge recreational industry. Slaughterhouses kill billions of animals each year.
Most humans treat most types of animals as biological machines devoid of any sentience, without any understanding of the world around them, when each of us knows this is patently untrue.
Meat-eaters will often come back with an argument such as, “Don’t eat carrots because you’re killing them.” If someone can’t feel the difference between chopping off the top of a carrot versus chopping off the head of a dog, then that’s a clear indication about that particular person’s state of mind.
Put simply; vegetation does not have sentience or a central nervous system, whereas animals have a brain, thoughts, preferences, feelings and are acutely aware of pain and suffering. Animal-rights supporters assert that differentiating humans from other animals purely on the grounds that they are human is speciesism.
In the words of 18th-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham, “The question is not can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?”
We should be more aware and empathetic towards the plight and suffering of animals. Each day every one of us can make choices to ease the suffering of our fellow creatures.
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