Animals Have Rights Too
Growing up with a single grandparent I was never able to have a pet of my own. This choice that my grandmother made for our house hold was hard but something I have dealt with my whole life. Animals in general hold a special place in my heart because interacting with another species is something very amazing. Learning their way of life and how they adapt has been an interest of mine for some time. With research and constantly watching Animal Planet Network the show “Animal Cops” really caught my attention and also disturbed me at the same time. “Animal Cops follows the men and women who fight animal cruelty.” (animalplanet.com) they go around in major cities such as Detroit, Michigan to protect, help, and enforce the laws and rights of animals. Roughly half of all Americans own some type of pet, many of which are highly intelligent, loving creatures like dogs or cats. Due to the fact that most pets are cute and cuddly, most people would object to any kind of cruel treatment imposed on their animals. However, it is more than just cuteness that gives animals the right to be protected from human cruelty. There is no reason why animals should not be entitled to the same basic, fundamental protections that humans have; the right to live and the right against all torture, physical or mental. There is overwhelming evidence that animals deserve these rights, that guaranteeing these rights is worthwhile, and that acknowledging these rights is necessary in order to halt the unimaginable misuse of which many animals are helpless victims. There is a sense, shared by almost all people in the world, that no person has the right to kill or hurt another, except in self-defense. This theory is derived from the undisputed fact that human beings are capable of feeling pain, because the body has a nervous system. When nerve cells are destroyed by say, a sharp blade, the brain receives messages that trigger in the consciousness as pain- the more cells that are destroyed at once, the sharper and more unbearable the pain. The nervous systems in most animals, especially mammals, are almost identical to those in human beings, suggesting that animals can feel pain the same way people do. Therefore, if people have no right to cause pain in other people, they have no right to cause pain in animals. Also, there is scientific evidence stating that most animals have emotions, are susceptible to mental stress, and are affected by some of the same things that affect humans emotionally. In a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University in 1997, children of almost every species of mammal down to the smallest rodent suffered and died soon after being untimely separated from their mothers- despite adequate care from scientists. Animals confined in cages for very long periods of time, such as those on farms and those in scientific laboratories, show signs of insanity and neuroticism, often throwing themselves against the walls or tearing flesh from their own bodies in crazed, desperate fits. The obvious signs that animals are like humans in their ability to feel pain and joy, demand that they be granted their inalienable rights against murder, torture, and imprisonment. The only things that stand in the way for animal rights are money and human convenience. Most people do not consider animals worthy of any rights because they are not human, and humans are somehow better, though that is no excuse for cruel treatment. It used to be considered acceptable to enslave Africans because they were not white, and the German people accepted the murder of six million Jewish people because they were not Christian. Power is no excuse for oppression, and it’s time to throw away the silly prejudices and look at the facts; animals are sentient. Animal rights have often been deemed as pointless for several reasons, but a close look at facts proves otherwise. Some people question how far to push laws against animal cruelty, and where to draw the line...
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