Taking a Stand Against Peta

Topics: Animal rights, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Animal testing Pages: 7 (2615 words) Published: November 18, 2008
Term Paper

The Stand Against PETA
“We love all animals, it’s just people we’re not too crazy about,” is a comment made by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) (Fegan 1). This outrageous comment insinuates PETA puts animals’ rights before the rights and needs of humans, which is not the way nature intended. The PETA organization has been around since 1980 affectively with their hyped-up, illogical stories of how we need to treat animals as equals and grant them rights that only we, as humans, should enjoy. These are assumptions and claims which are used to further their cause and are not founded in reality. Contradictory to PETA’s beliefs, animals should not have the same rights as humans, because that is the law of nature. According to Erasmus Darwin, who stated “Such is the condition of organic nature! whose first law might be expressed in the words 'Eat or be eaten!”. (Science Quotes by Erasmus Darwin) I do not intend to condemn animal rights activists, since people are entitled to their own opinions, but rather discuss why this way of life may be harmful to themselves and others. Animal rights debater Stephen R. L. Clark points out, “As humans, we are like the other animals and unlike them, tied to them and separate, in many ways,” (Golding). For example, humans are animals, our nature is an animal nature, our desires are, for the most part, animal desires, and our habit of hunting is like that of other animals. However, what sets us apart from other animals is the fact that we have legal rights (the right to vote) and moral rights (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). The distinction must be made that animals obviously can't have the same rights as humans, because their interests are not always the same as ours, and some rights would be irrelevant to animals. For instance, an animal such as a cat doesn't have an interest in voting and, therefore, doesn't have the right to vote because that right would be as meaningless to a dog as it is to a child. But it is unquestionable that it is in an animal's interest to be free of suffering, have the freedom to move and interact with others of its species. It is only natural that humans have dominion over plants and animals. In the hierarchy of life, plants live to provide food for animals, and animals live to supply humans with food, clothing, and tools. The belief that all life should have equal value can lead to absurdities such as allowing mosquitoes to spread malaria, pesky flies to remain alive inside one’s home, or a venomous snake such as a viper for instance, to run loose on one's property. Most creatures in the wild die long before they have a chance to live out their natural lives because they are usually victims of a predator or human overpopulation. However, the controversial process of how animals are treated has existed for many generations, up to now we have been unsuccessful in reaching an understanding. As also in religion people have different views "Jainism, which enjoins ahimsa ("noninjury") toward all living things, and Buddhism, which forbids the needless killing of animals […].traditional Judaism and Christianity taught that animals were created by God for human use." (Encyclopedia Britannica) There are many different opinions some say that "Animals […] lack this capacity for free moral judgment. They are not beings of a kind capable of exercising or responding to moral claims. Animals therefore have no rights, and they can have none." (Cohen) Others like the organization of Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow (ADAPTT) "believes that all animals have an inherent right to be free and live completely unfettered by human dominance." Organizations like the ADAPTT want non-human animals to be protected by laws that would grant the animal the "rights to be free"(ADAPTT). If you had the choice to live or die which would you choose? If you had the alternative to live in a cage or in a house which...
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