Animal Rights Essay Research Paper Nonhuman animals

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Animal Rights Essay, Research Paper Non-human animals are given rights only because of their interactions with human beings. Without involvement with humans, animals do not deserve rights. It is through this interaction with humans that animals are even given moral consideration. We do not give rights to a rock simply because it is a creation of Mother Nature, similarly non-human animals do not have rights unless it is in regards to humans. As pointed out by Jan Narveson “morality is a sort of agreement among rational, independent, self-interested persons who have something to gain from entering into such an agreement” (192). In order to have the ability to obtain rights one must be consciously able to enter into an agreement, non-human animals are unable to do so.

Entering into an agreement is done so because both parties have something to gain from this understanding. Narveson’s view of morality can be understood in two parts: 1.) entering into an agreement is done so for one’s self-interest and 2.) they are willing and able to enter into an agreement and maintain it. This separates humans from them in that animals are unable to willingly enter into any sort of agreement or stay true to it. Morality is a human concept, completely original and separate from the animal kingdom. Animals, as I understand, do not consider whether what they are doing is morally permissible or objectionable, they simply act without regard to the consequences of their actions. Furthermore, humans have no reason to give animals rights based on the fact that

humans have little to gain from doing so. An animal is not able to enter into an agreement and thus does not deserve to gain such rights simply for existing. Only through their interaction with human beings are animals even considered to have rights. Without humans the concept of rights doesn’t exist amongst animals. Contrary to Narveson, I do not believe that animals should be denied of moral consideration because of their limited ability to harm humans. First of all, this statement is false animals clearly have the ability to attack if so desired not by the human, but by the decision of the animal. In our sculpted urban environments animals are exiled and in relatively minimal human contact. Such predacious animals, that have historically attacked humans, have been kept out

of our society by enormous architectural fences. These animals that attack usually need vast open spaces to hunt game, these environments hardly exist any more, and these animals are rarely in contact with humans. These urban areas do not attract animals with the capacity to attack humans but that is not to say that these animals do not have the ability to harm us, we have just manipulated our environment so that they are on the outside. One thousand years ago, humans would have been more likely to have been attacked by an animal. Our modern buildings and infrastructure isolate us from these creatures and has also reduced their population making it less dangerous for a human to worry about being struck by a beast on their way to work. Also, Narveson states that “Humans have

excellent reason to be fearful about each other” (193). She goes on to state that humans not only have the capacity to harm one another but are often “interested in doing so”(194). In the case of an animal attacking a human Narveson argues that it sporadically occurs and in the event of an animal attacking a human we can simply cage or shoot them. Is this any different from how we treat human on human violence? The penalty for harming another human is often imprisonment or death, just like the penalty an animal would suffer at the hand of a human. The concept of suffering has often been applied to understand whether an animal deserves rights. Like Vicki Hearne, I too argue that suffering should not be an antidote to decipher whether an animal deserves rights or not. An