Period 5 – CSU ERWC
17 December 2014
A Bill of Rights for Animals?
An organization called the Animal Legal Defense Fund has sponsored a petition that raises the awareness and calls for increased protection for the rights of animals. An excerpt from the petition briefly touches on how “animals are defenseless against exploitation and abuse by humans.” Alongside, it also informs us the objective of the petition that “through the Animal Bill of Rights, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is working to show Congress a groundswell of support for legislation that protects animals and recognizes that, like all sentient beings, animals are entitled to basic legal rights in our society.” In our society today, animals are brutally abused, treated unfairly, neglected or have experiments conducted on them. This bill is pushing for a basic set of rights aimed at animals to protect them, although many people disagree. The petition, I believe, could change a lot in the world today. I agree with the defense fund of passing this petition for animal rights and that all animals should be treated as equal as humans. The Animal Bill of Rights can stop animals from being abused, experimented on, and innocently dying.
By passing the Animal Bill of Rights, it is understandable and true that it would decrease the amount of animal abuse that occurs. In Jeremy Rifkin’s article “A Change of Heart about Animals”, he provides evidence that “studies on pigs’ social behavior funded by McDonald’s at Purdue University, for example, have found that they crave affections and are easily depressed if isolated or denied playtime with each other. The lack of mental and physical stimuli can result in deterioration of health”. Similar to humans, it exemplifies that animals crave and desire affection for means to survive. Pigs have similar characteristics and traits as human beings do. They have the ability to eat, sleep, play, feel pain and express emotions. In the case of a human, if someone lacks attention or love and support, that person would become depressed easily, fall into a state of gloominess and darkness as well as possibly develop a mental illness. This is similar to the events of an animal that has been abused. Through this example, it explains that animals are similar to humans in terms of characteristics and behavior and that animal abuse has drastic effects on animals, so therefore we should enact a bill of animal rights to protect them from abuse and inhumane circumstances.
As human beings, we tend to conduct experiments on many products and things on animals more than our own species. There are many different experiments conducted and used on all kinds of animal species which endanger them and lead to their slow deterioration of health. I personally believe that scientists should not be allowed under any circumstances to do unnecessary experiments on animals. My main concern towards this stems from the fact that most of these animals don’t survive the entire experiment. Somewhere throughout they give out and their decline in health status leads to their eventual death. It’s unjust and not right to instantly end the life of an animal, similar to ending a human’s life in a cruel manner. In addition, the killings of these innocent animals provoke little or no remorse from us humans. Most people have the viewpoint and perception that animals have no self-consciousness and don’t feel or suffer pain. But in “Hooked on a Myth” by Los Angeles Times reporter Victoria Braithwaite, studies show that animals such as fish do in fact feel pain. She conducted a study along with fellow colleagues and concluded that “…fish have the two same types of nociceptors that we do…” Nociceptors are specialized nerve endings that alert our bodies when we feel or experience pain. Studies and research has shown that animals such as fish do in fact have alert-like functions that help them detect pain. This concludes that conducting...
Cited: 1. Braithwaite, Victoria. "Hooked on a Myth." Los Angeles Times. New York
Times, 8 Oct. 2006:n. pag. Web.
2. Rifkin, Jeremy. "A Change of Heart about Animals." Los Angeles Times. New York
Times, 1 Sept. 2003:n. pag. Web.
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