Animal Rights

Do you think that non-human animals have interests? Does this mean that they also have rights? Explain.

To argue that non-human animals do not have rights would come from a deontological thought, where rightness and wrongness are based off the actions themselves. Kant believed that even though animals and humans have desires, only humans can stand back from their desire and chose the right action to take. Since animals cannot withstand from their desires, they have no will. According to Kant, since animals have no wills, they have no good wills and therefore do not have intrinsic value. Peter Carruthers argues that animals have no direct moral standing because they are self-interested, but do not know who they are. They do believe though that just because something does not have moral value does not mean we can do whatever we want to it. We have duties in regard to animals as I cannot harm your pets because that would be harming you and I cannot harm animals for fun as people would get upset with it. (“Animals and Ethics”)

When it comes to animal rights I agree with this deontological approach as animals do have interests, but only self interest. When comparing them to humans, they can not obtain rights as they act on instinct and not with good reasoning. Also, animals are to serve humans whether for food, work or just companionship therefore humans are superior. We do have a duty to treat animals correctly though. Killing of animals should only be done for food and abuse and torture of animals should not be allowed. It is also our duty as pet owners to provide our pets with food, water and shelter.