Animal Rights and Duties?

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Animal Rights and Duties?

Post by RWStanding »

Animal Rights
To answer this question directly is absurd, to do so merely invites personal whimsy.
The question as to whether the animal kingdom has rights, is perfectly easy to answer, although the specific nature of each right is a matter for debate. ‘God’ naturally accords rights and duties that reflect the form of society involved – human and animal together.
Animals cannot have duties which are the product of the intellect. And we have yet to find cattle going to university, that is other than metaphorically. Therefore animal rights are to be understood by human beings and conferred on the animal part of the local or global society.
In a tyranny or anything of that nature there is no question of rights, and animals are the biblical servants of mankind or more particularly its ruling authority. They are used and kept or destroyed as is convenient – hopefully allowing for the human environment not to suffer.
In anarchistic society, based on the individual ego, animals and nature generally belongs to these individuals. Much as has been the case in England. If a particular ‘owner’ has some residual altruistic intent they will be cared for kindly. Otherwise in a practical way according to their value.
In what this country may be tending towards or not. Altruist society. The animal kingdom is part of the human environment and larger society. Animals will be treated as if they have rights. This means they will have rights and treatment according to their nature. That part of the broader animal kingdom that has no significant intellect and sensory faculties may even be drastically culled, so far as human parasites and diseases are concerned. People may have the care of pets but not their ownership in any respect other than possession with a duty of care.
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Re: Animal Rights and Duties?

Post by -1- »

Whatever happened to biting little kittens' heads off?
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Re: Animal Rights and Duties?

Post by jayjacobus »

One aspect to this question is rights and duties must be projected onto animals by people. That is entirely subjective thinking.

Animals have no inherent rights and duties.

On the other hand animals are unlike inanimate objects and more like us. They live, breath,"think" and act. They care and they act prudently,they observe, they are attentive and much more. They seem to want need, feel joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like. In other words they seem to have affective states of consciousness. Their intelligence is sometimes referred to at the level of a young child. Overall their minds have states but not computer states.

They live in nature and are subject to the laws of nature. They have limited (or no) ability to enhance their natural abilities in the way people do.

So where does that brief discussion lead me?

When I consider animals I can either consider them part of nature (which I will do without feeling) or I can see them as near sentient beings that reqires my sensitivty. I don't think I can do both at one time.

If I project rights and duties on animals, I am doing the latter and if I eat steak, I am doing the former.
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Re: Animal Rights and Duties?

Post by tim3003 »

If you're going to ask whether animals have rights you need to understand what a 'right' is. To quote Bentham so-called rights are often 'nonsense on stilts'.
A 'right' has to be enshrined in some document whose validity and acceptance is universal, ie above the viewpoint of the individual. Eg the UN declaration of Human Rights is universally accepted and agreed, so we can talk about human rights. To say 'I believe animals have rights' is meaningless. I as an individual cannot ascribe 'rights' to animals or anything else, it has to be done and agreed at a societal level. So until there's a universal bill of animal rights, or at least a widespread movement to create one, the argument is meaningless. Of course if you're religious you can cite the text of your holy book as defining rights. But for non-believers or those of different faiths this is no less meaningless than a purely personal view.
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Post by henry quirk »

You say: A 'right' has to be enshrined in some document whose validity and acceptance is universal, ie above the viewpoint of the individual. Eg the UN declaration of Human Rights is universally accepted and agreed, so we can talk about human rights.

Two things...

The UN declaration is not universally accepted. If it were, governments wouldn't abuse citizens.


In many places, animals, by law, have a right to humane treatment.

Me, personally, I wouldn't give you a plug nickel for the UN declaration. Life, liberty, property, my right to these is intrinsic and requires no community recognition (though, of course, such recognition would be nice). As for animals: they have a 'right' to be on my plate (and in my belly).
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