Animals have been seen as a lower species for decades. They have little to no rights and are sometimes treated inhumanely. No rights are given to them, so when they are abused there is little to no consequences. Hit an animal, make them live in dirty environments, forgot to feed them, leave them in the hot temperatures with no water, or torture them and the consequences are minor compared to the cruelty forced on that animal. Animals should have certain rights so that abusers can have harsher consequences which in turn could help with future crimes, but doesn’t mean that they can’t be raised to feed our society or be used for other services.
For centuries animals have been used by society to perform different duties. They are food for our families, they help the disabled, used for transportation, and other jobs. Yet if asked some still believe that they are just animals and were put on this earth to service people, not be equals nor have rights. For years animal activists have been trying to get society to see animals more clearly for what they are, living breathing beings. Some people believe that animal rights activists care more about animals than they do about other people, which isn’t entirely true. Some of the more extreme activists do but most activists have expanded their circle of compassion so that it includes both humans and non-humans. Most just believe that animals deserve to live humanely and with dignity, to be able to live without being abused and other cruelties visited upon them. The way some animals are treated can be incredibly brutal and despite the fact that they are not humans they are still living beings and should be treated with some amount of respect.
Some people believe that the view that humans and animals are equal is a flawed assumption, as human beings possess special qualities that animals don’t. But animals are like foreigners, we may not understand what they are saying or how they live but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some similarities to humans. Animals have families that we call different names, mothers protect their young, parents or elders help to feed their families and they mourn their dead, it may not be the way we do but they do it too. They speak a different language than us, their life styles may not match ours and their families have different dynamic than mankind, but does that make them any less valuable than man. Other countries have already realized that animals are different than us but still deserve some rights. They see animals as more than just objects they can manipulate. They notice what the animals bring to society and how they improve the life of people. According to Adam Cohen’s article Can Animal Rights Go Too Far (2010) “Switzerland has a 160 page animal rights law with some of the world’s stiffest rules for the treatment of nonhumans, including the minimum amount of space that a Mongolian gerbils must be given and a ban on keeping social animals alone.” This may seem extreme, but they are making a stand on animal rights, they are showing the world that animals may be different than us but doesn’t mean they should be treated as dirt beneath our feet.
Looking at the world news today people can find stories on dog fighting rings, animal hoarding, animal abuse, as well as, murder and rape. It doesn’t seem like anyone can turn on the TV or open a paper without some sort of story on a violent crimes either associated with animals or not. It gets people to think if there is a connection between the two. Researchers have been looking to see if there is a correlation between animal abuse and violent crimes. According to the American Humane Association (2009) “In one study, 70% of animal abusers also had records for other crimes. Domestic violence victims whose animals were abused saw the animal cruelty as one more violent episode in a long history of...