November 20, 2012

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.

Photo Credit: SAFE

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.

9 Responses to “What Gives Humans The Right To Enslave, Torture And Kill Our Fellow Creatures?”

  1. Tyler:
    November 21, 2012

    It was Descartes dangerous idea that animals are merely biological machines (like ticking clocks) that got this type of thinking engrained in the western psyche. With this view in place, and coupled with the equally dangerous Christian idea that animals should dominated by ‘man’, it is no wonder that we treat animals with such disrespect. It is only now that science and philosophy are starting to strip back these antiquated views and replace them with proper logic. Although many great minds have shown and proven that animals are indeed able to suffer and feel as much as humans, it has taken centuries to undo the social indoctrination of the church and Descartes. In fact, it still needs doing today.

  2. Peter:
    November 25, 2012

    Animals should be given equal consideration to humans. I don’t mean equal rights – we shouldn’t, for example, give animals the right to vote. What I mean is that they should be ‘considered’. An example would be animals used in medical research – we should consider if the animal will suffer and would we be willing to inflict this type of suffering on a human with, say, a severe intellectual ability. If you apply this logic you will find that at present animals get NO consideration, let alone equal consideration. I became a vegan because I don’t want to contribute to unnecessary suffering in the world. How can anyone hold the philosophical position that they want to continue eating meat and exploiting animals because they want to be the cause of unnecessary suffering in the world. If you support the philosophy of unnecessary suffering, you logically support my decision to use YOU in medical research and your children without your consent. It’s completely unnecessary for me to use you in this research, but hey, it’s what you believe in and don’t ask for equal consideration because you don’t believe in it.

  3. Christine:
    December 8, 2012

    I can’t disagree with any of this. I don’t know what is going to happen to our species, so virulent and exploitative we are….

  4. Kurt:
    December 13, 2012

    It’s all about power imbalances. Throughout history we see people with more power exploiting those without. When men had more power than women we had sexism, when whites had more power than blacks we had racism, and now that humans have more power than non-human animals we have speciesism. Sexism and racism were overcome by the group with the most power ceding some of there power to the group with less power (due to social pressure). Now it is time for us humans to cede some of our power to non-human animals in the form of beefed-up laws around animal cruelty.

  5. Sunjai:
    December 14, 2012

    Humans are evil and ghastly creatures. I think that in 200 years we will look back on factory farming as a low point in human culture, the same way we look back on slavery with such disdain.

  6. Valarie:
    December 14, 2012

    We don’t have any right to torture and enslave our fellow earthlings. Simple as that. I’m appalled we do. Wake up world!

  7. Wuzyoproblem:
    April 6, 2017

    They are animals for Petes sake. Animals kill each other. It ain’t no crime. Animals eat and brutally maul each other. Why can’t we kill animals and eat them?

  8. Susan:
    September 16, 2017

    It’s all ironic because anytime we do rescue a dog or cat we immediately feed them the commercial food products (full of dead animals). I want to save dogs and cats… and I know there are vegan foods out there for dogs and cats which are VERY EXPENSIVE. One step at a time… but we must take those steps… I am also in shock and appalled at human behavior. I just came here from religious articles Jewish and Christian saying its ok… yet their argument was full of flaws, not just logically… but… soul wise… shocking. Humans are flawed animals! And the cause of all suffering.

  9. Natalie:
    September 18, 2017

    To “Wuzyoproblem” in the comments. So your logic is that any dominant creature has the right to kill a weaker one. What if an alien species arrived on this planet to farm humans, would that be ok too? Or would we expect our suffering to be taken account of?

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