Notes on Animal Rights
Notes on Animal Rights PHI2630
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sara Merkle on Monday September 28, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHI2630 at Florida State University taught by Marcela Herdova in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 34 views. For similar materials see Ethical Issues/Life Choices in Culture at Florida State University.
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Date Created: 09/28/15
Ethical Issues amp Life Choices Notes written in black are notes taken from the textbook Notes written in pink are notes taken during lecture Red indicates a term that is being defined All Animals are Equal Peter Singer Speciesism is a term used by Singer to describe a prejudice in favor of the interest of members of one s own species and against those of another species Morally equivalent to racism or sexism Similar to the case of women s rights in the 170018005 Saying that animals should have rights equal to those of humans would be irrational however the rights of animals go along with the capabilities that animals have 9T0 say that dogs should have the rights to vote would be comparable to saying a man should have a right to an abortion Comparing Speciesism to racism racism is wrong because skin color gives no insight into someone s morality or intellect EVEN SO possessing a higher intellect then another does not entitle a human to use another for their ends So why shouldn t this principle apply to animals as well Basic questions involving animal rights 1 Do nonhuman animals have rights 2 If so what rights do they have 3 Is it morally permissible to treat nonhuman animals as objects Ieremy Bentham 9Capacity for suffering is vital in giving equality consideration A mouse does not have an interest in being kicked down the road because it will suffer if it is Some claims against animal rights a being must be autonomousquot must be a member of the communityquot must have the ability to respect the rights of othersquot must possess a sense of justicequot animals differ from humans in many waysquot Animals amp Research Most human beings are speciesists by nature Practices today reveal that this is true In Britain experimenters are required to report the number of scientific proceduresquot preformed on animals In 1988 there were 35 million reported cases The Animal Welfare Act was passed which doesn t account for many animals US Office of Technology Assessment OTA estimates that animals used in experiments are about 10 to 100 million annually Ethical Issues amp Life Choices A list of statistical evidence involving animals used in experiments worldwide can be found on page 6 of this article on Blackboard The suffering of animals deserves the same consideration as does parallel suffering of humans Upshot species membership as such cannot determine moral status Sentience is the capacity to experience pain and pleasure This is both necessary and sufficient for having interest A very small portion of animal experiments can be regarded as medical research Mostly animals are used to test cosmetics shampoos dyes etc Experimenters usually do not deny that the animals suffer Proposal experiments serving no direct and urgent purpose stop immediately and in the remaining fields of research we should wherever possible seek to replace experiments that involve animals with alternative methods that do notquot Would we be prepared to let thousands of humans die if they could be saved by a single experiment on a single animal Unfortunately this is never the case and the question at hand is purely hypothetical Are experimenters willing to run experiments on mentally deficient human beings seeing as they are morally equal to animals On those premises an experiment cannot be justified unless it is so important that it would also be carried out on a mentally deficient human as well Only in rare cases does one life save thousands On eatingtorturing animals Consequentially there is no moral difference between eating animals and torturing and killing them for fun If you are dissonant in your thinking you can either embrace both or you can change your stance on one of them Eating meat is socially acceptable many people do so but torture is notquot Fallacy of common practice Eating meat is more naturalquot Fallacy natural does not equal moral Are Zoos Morally Permissible Article by Tom Regan p392 Zoos are not morally permissible here s why Utilitarianism Can animals suffer Interests of animals must figure in the moral assessment of zoos o Interests wild animals have a Freedom of movement a Adequate nutrition Ethical Issues amp Life Choices 9 Appropriate environment To name a few However you must also take into account the interests of those affected by zoos Speculation vs fact a Entirely too much to try and calculate the positive and negative effects on all beings involved The theory requires more knowledge than humans are capable of finding quotThis theory is bull when applied to zoosquot The Rights View 1 Moral assessment of zoos much be carried out against the backdrop of the rights of animals 2 When making this assessment zoos as they exist are not morally permissible Animals are aware of the world and of what happens to them separately from their utility to us They have biological psychological and social needs Should not use humans as means to an end why should we treat animals differently Just as there is no master sex and no master race there is no master species Are animals in zoos treated with appropriate respect Freedom of animals is compromised o Confining an animal to a space is only okay to do as long as it is in their best interest it gets hairy however when it comes to what is considered best interestquot in that situation