I applaud Rifkin for his concern about the social placement of animals and their treatment in his article “A Change of Heart About Animals,” but I don’t completely agree with his views. The writer believes animals should have as many rights as us humans, and I have an issue with that. He argues about how unethical the current treatment of animals is, yet almost completely ignores the other side of the argument.
Rifkin gives several examples of animal’s intelligence, and that I agree with; animals do have some capacity for learning, although it may not be much. The writer also implies several rhetorical questions, like whether it’s ethical to slaughter animals for food or to test on them. That’s where I have my differences with the writer, because there are benefits to all three of these practices.
Slaughtering animals is an ancient practice, and it’s the natural order. Bigger, smarter animals eat the smaller, inferior animals. Meat is also the best source of protein. Would you rather eat a juicy, seasoned steak, or a tasteless chunk of tofu? Animal testing also has huge benefits, particularly advancements in the medical field. Because of animal testing, a treatment for HIV/AIDS was able to be developed. Several medications and treatments for other diseases and disorders are now available because they have been deemed safe after animal testing and were then able to be open for human testing.
So, reader, don’t believe anything those crazy activists are telling you about how animals are people too, and remember what you were taught about the food chain. We humans are the superior species.