Hi! Rachel from peta2 here—your animal rights expert! peta2 and gURL have partnered up to answer some of your questions about animal rights … but before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s discuss the basic idea. So …”Should animals have rights?”
Your dog doesn’t want to vote in the presidential election, does he? And my cat, she couldn’t care less about driving a car … so what’s with this animal rights talk? Do animals really need rights? I mean … they’re just so much different than us.
The fight for animal rights isn’t the fight to give your dog the right to vote, or my cat the right to drive a car—it’s about basic rights. Things like the right to live free, the right to be free from suffering, and the right to their own interests and desires. Makes sense, right?
Animals are definitely different from us in some ways—they sure do look different. But they’re the same as us in other, more important ways. Did you know elephants mourn the death of someone in their close group of friends? Or that chicken moms “sing” to their young? Did you know that pigs are actually smarter than 3-year-old kids? Animals—whether dog, cat, pig, sheep, or fish—all desire freedom, want to spend time with their friends and family, feel pain and fear, and most importantly, do not want to die.
Differences (and likenesses) aside, isn’t judging whether someone should live, die, or be tortured to death on how they look a little … I don’t know, wrong? Although we may want to, we don’t subject our worst enemies to the kinds of things that animals go through (like being thrown into grinders while still alive, being kept in crates so small they can never even lie down, or having their bodies hacked apart while they’re still struggling) … so why do we think it’s OK to do this to animals?
If the argument is because “they’re just … different” or “they can’t talk!” or “I don’t think they feel pain”, then our logic is flawed. Babies can’t express themselves, and neither can people with certain disabilities, but we wouldn’t torture, kill, and eat them.
If our logic is that eating animals, testing on them, or using them for our entertainment is legal, so it must be right, then you should think back to a day when slavery, sexism and child labor were all considered legal and morally just. The point here is that just because someone tells you it’s OK—whether it’s the law or your parents—it doesn’t always mean that it’s right. Our real reasons for eating and exploiting animals sound a little more like this: “They can’t fight back!” or “They’re small and I’m stronger!” and that just isn’t OK.
Throughout the month of April, I’ll be hanging out here on the gURL.com blog to answer your questions about animal rights, going vegan, helping animals at your school, and more! Leave your comments and questions below!
See you next week!
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