Many individuals believe that animals deserve to be treated ethically. This belief spurred the idea of animal rights – the basic idea that even animals, like humans, have certain inalienable rights that should not be infringed upon. Animal rights groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, are the main advocates for animal rights. The idea of animal rights has been in the modern mindset for centuries – ancient Egyptians treated cats like gods!
Animal rights consist of several ideas. The first is that animals should have the right to live. As a result, many people that advocate animal rights reject the idea of eating slaughtered animal meat or using products made from animal products. They believe animals have the right to live, and these individuals often reject things like fur clothing and practice vegetarianism. The other standard includes an animal’s right to freedom of suffering. This is a huge belief held by both animal advocates and many mainstream individuals. Laws have even been put into place that outline how animals should be treated when under someone’s ownership. Animal abuse, ritual slaughter and neglect are all punishable by law. This general behavior is known as animal cruelty. Domestic animals are usually protected, by law, against this type of treatment. This is usually the most widely accepted belief in animal rights. Some believe this right extends to animals that suffer from experimental testing in laboratories, and will refuse to use products made through animal testing.
Some people disagree with the idea of animal rights. Their arguments include the idea that animals, unlike humans, are not capable of higher forms of thought; that they act solely upon impulse and desire, and aren’t capable of understanding, earning or maintaining their rights. It’s offered that they have no socialized behavior or moral ideals that would lend themselves to the possession of rights. There is much division on the subject and just as...
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