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We think of animals as cute or vicious creatures, but do we really know how they are suffering? My research question is, 'To what extent should animals protected be by the law?'. This is an interesting question, as there will be different people who have completely different views to others. In my essay, I will be looking into whether different countries have laws to protect different animals, and if not, what are they trying to do to help them? Three things I will be talking about will be animal abuse, animal rights and laws and animal shelters.
To what extent should animals be protected from animal abuse?
'The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.' (c) Alice Walker
Animal abuse occurs in many forms, animal testing, negligence, and torturing and beating. Sadly, this is more common than everyone realizes. Over 10 million animals in the US are beaten to death, dogs comprise 65% of all abused animals, laboratory testing uses 115 million animals a year in experiments and one animal is abused every minute. You may ask yourself why. There are multiple reasons why animals are abused. Psychological reasons, such as people doing it for the pleasure and the enjoyment of it, animals that are kept in overcrowded areas and are not actually wanted, and even some people who have psychological problems, get animals just to be able to abuse them. Some countries are trying to do something about animal abuse, for example, The new Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill will now ensure that people who hurt or abuse their animals, will no longer receive just six months in jail, but possibly up to five years. The toughest jail sentences will be for hurting dogs, kittens, and puppies. In the US, all states have animal abuse laws, but they all have different levels of punishment. Some of the safest states for animals are Illinois, Oregon, and California. Some of the worst are Kentucky, Iowa, and Wyoming. Out of all the countries in the world, Austria is said to be the safest place for Animal Welfare. The Austrian Animal Welfare Act 2004 'suggests that the protection of the well-being of animals should be held to a value that is equal to humankind.' Some people might not know, but another form of animal abuse happens by using them as testing products and medicine for us. Some companies that use animal testing include Calvin Klein, Dior, Hugo Boss, and a lot more. Animal testing is harming animals for the use of our own sake, it is when we test cosmetics and drugs on them for our own use. There are new possible discoveries that have been found, that suggest that with more research, there could be another way to test out products without harming any more animals. One idea is by using stem cells, as they are a special type of cell within the human body that can develop to become any type of cell that we need. There has also been continuing research and stem cell-derived tissue-specific cells to develop alternative methods for animal toxicity testing.
There are currently a few animal laws in place to help animals with their rights, but there should be more. Animals don't have the capability to talk to us, and therefore, cannot physically tell us what they want. Some people take this as a sign that they can do whatever they want to animals, just like animal testing. The problem with animal testing is that so many companies use it, it would be difficult to instantly stop it. There are 'Codes of Practice' that provide owners with information on how to keep the animals they own safe, which is required with the Animal Welfare Act 2006. These can be used against the owners in court, which could mean that owners can be fined, or imprisoned, due to how poorly they have been looking after their animals in the condition of the Animal Welfare Act of 2006. There have been questions by philosophers, that ask why animals do not have rights or a say of their own. Some say that animals do not need rights, because they cannot communicate with us, and therefore, should not have a say. Multiple other people claim that animals do deserve their own rights because they are technically related to humans, and therefore, if we deserve human rights, they should be allowed animal rights.
Other points that people make are that animals are conscious and do know what is happening to them and that it is cruel what we do to them. Some points that are against animal rights are that animals were 'put on the earth to serve human beings', and that 'animals lack the capacity for free moral judgment.' In conclusion to people choosing whether animals should be allowed animal rights or not are scattered, and we don't know exactly how many people agree or disagree with the statement that animals should be allowed to have animal rights. Multiple countries have started to enforce rules, and multiple cosmetic brands have also become animal testing free. This may link with some of the laws or animal welfare acts that have been put into place because certain brands would not be allowed to continue testing their products on animals in certain countries. For example, 'The use of animals to test cosmetics products or their ingredients is banned and all other member states of the European Union.' This shows how far we have come, and how important it is to people that animals can now have their own voice, and the animals who do not have a voice, have people who are speaking for them and want a better life for them.
'The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality. (c) Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality
We think of animals as cute or vicious creatures, but do we really know how they are suffering?
My research question is, 'To what extent should animals protected be by the law?'. This is an interesting question, as there will be different people who have completely different views to others. In my essay, I will be looking into whether different countries have laws to protect different animals, and if not, what are they trying to do to help them? Three things I will be talking about will be animal abuse, animal rights and laws, and animal shelters.
In conclusion, animal protection laws are essential to prevent animal abuse, and it is necessary to ensure that all animals have their own rights. Animal abuse can occur in many forms, including animal testing, negligence, torturing, and beating. Several countries have started to enforce rules to prevent animal abuse, but there is still a long way to go. There are also debates among philosophers regarding animal rights, and while opinions are scattered, it is important that animals have a voice, and people must work to provide a better life for them. The progress made so far shows that universal compassion is necessary for morality, and we must continue to work towards a future where all animals are treated with kindness and respect.
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