John Locke made a major advance to our understanding of natural law, by emphasizing the nature of man as a maker of things, and a property owning animal. This leads to a more extensive concept of natural rights than the previous discussions of natural law. From the right to self defense comes the right to the rule of law, but from the right to property comes a multitude of like rights, such as the right to privacy “An Englishman's home is his castle.” Further, Locke repeatedly, in ringing words, reminded us that a ruler is legitimate so far as he upholds the law.
As a utilitarian you could claim that sentient animals have interests and thus no species (that is humanity) is more important than any other; therefore, we should give equal moral consideration to every creature's relevant moral interests.
Listen to people's arguments for and against animal rights.
Agriculture is one of the most prevalent industries that involves animals. With dairy and meat production as its bread and butter, there were several adjustments that were made on the farms. In 1981 FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement) has attempted to prevent people from consuming meat as a protein source. Accomplishments include various campaigns such as Great American Meatout, World Day for Farmed Animals; and Meatout Mondays. Through their educational efforts, over 30 million Americans have experimented with vegetarian diets, a lower percentage of beef and veal has been consumed, and many fast food restaurants now serve vegetarian dishes. In a polar opposite, the fashion industry has been affected by animal rights as well.
"...animal rights must not only be an idea but a social movement for the liberation of the world's most oppressed beings, both in terms of numbers and in the severity of their pain."
Martin Luther King Jr, a civil rights leader for African Americans, was an advocate for the Civil Rights Movement, a movement that fought to undo the injustices African Americans endure by American society in the 1960s.
The origin of animal rights (or sometimes called animal liberation) is unknown. Some claim that it started in ancient Buddhist and Hindu text promoting a vegetarian diet for ethical reasons. The first public footsteps into modern times was in 1975, when philosopher Peter Singer published the book Animal Liberation. One of the first organizations that served animal rights was the Animal Legal Defense Fund, where a group of attorneys gathered and filed lawsuits that were groundbreaking for animal rights. Several industries have been affected positively by the animal rights movement. From agriculture to fashion to pet care, each industry has taken steps to treat animals with a greater respect.
Taking the prominent leader’s words into consideration, we should progress as a society by participating in the animal rights movement that strives to extend the same compassion, felt by Martin Luther King Jr, to all living things (PETA)...
The opponents of natural rights often complain that the advocates of natural rights are not logically consistent, because we continually shift between inequivalent definitions of natural law. They gleefully manufacture long lists of “logical contradictions”. Indeed, the definitions we use are not logically equivalent, but because of the nature of man and the nature of the world, they are substantially equivalent in practice. These complaints by the opponents of natural rights are trivial hair splitting, and pointless legalistic logic chopping. It is easy to imagine in principle a world where these definitions were not equivalent. If humans were intelligent bees, rather than intelligent apes, these definitions would not be equivalent, and the concept of natural law would be trivial or meaningless, but we are what we are and the world is what it is, and these definitions, the definitions of natural law, are equivalent, not by some proof of pure reason, but by history, experience, economics, and observation.
The socialists attempted to remold human nature. Their failure is further evidence that the nature of man is universal and unchanging. Man is a rational animal, a social animal, a property owning animal, and a maker of things. He is social in the way that wolves and penguins are social, not social in the way that bees are social. The kind of society that is right for bees, a totalitarian society, is not right for people. In the language of sociobiology, humans are social, but not eusocial. Natural law follows from the nature of men, from the kind of animal that we are. We have the right to life, liberty and property, the right to defend ourselves against those who would rob, enslave, or kill us, because of the kind of animal that we are.
This was the world's first major published statement of human rights.
1789 The National Assembly of France approved rights for the common man, including equality before the law, equal opportunity, freedom from arbitrary imprisonment, freedom of speech and religion, security of property, and taxation commensurate with ability to pay.
1948 The United Nations affirmed their , setting out over two dozen rights, including the right of individuals to life, liberty, education, equality in law and freedom of movement, religion, association and information.
The justification for conferring rights on animals is that animals are in many important ways like humans.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) was formed in 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco. Ile hardly the first animal rights organization. animal testing kills essay
Singer’s worldview, and the worldview of many animal rights activists that follow his lead (e.g. organisations like , and the ), raise a number of interesting questions for me.