Critically discuss and evaluate some of the different arguments both for and against animal rights

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Critically discuss and evaluate some of the different arguments both for and against animal rights.

Brain storm:
Primarily to be critical, what does that mean? Evaluate, what does that mean? Arguments, which arguments do I know from my own personal experience, and how would I describe public domain knowledge on this topic.


  • The ideas of the sanctity of man versus the usability of animals

  • The similarity between animal biological systems and our own.

  • The quick development and ease of destruction of low forms of life.

  • The biblical context of take charge over, and benefit from.

  • If we can eat them, what’s the difference in experimenting on them?


  • New theories on the sanctity of all life.

  • The idea of needless suffering.

  • The use and expedience of animal life for no good reason.

  • Testing products for our own vanity.

  • Promoting systems that cause animal suffering as a side effect.


The idea of rights for animals is a fairly new concept born out of our own higher understanding of the world around us. In times of our forefathers the idea of animal rights would have been squared solely on the health of the creature and its ability to fend for itself. We then, would have had far too many things to worry about with our own rights to even consider the rights of lesser creatures.

The ideas put forward for the use of animals, and then the denial of their Godly rights, is primarily due to the idea that we, the people have the right to subjugate the rest of nature for our own ends. In any aspect of our lives where this is necessary, but excluding acts that are considered needlessly cruel.
There is scientific evidence that suggests we share much of our genetic makeup with lesser animals usually produced for food, these can be used to test products that would otherwise have been sold and tested on people instead. This idea is founded on that it is better to test on animals than people. There is also a biblical context to this argument, in that our ancestors were taught to tame nature and use its product for their own advantage, they were the stewards of the land and the animals on it.
Another important argument is if we eat them at 50 pence a pound why not use them to test our cosmetics and medicines as well. After all, there is a need to test products before they are sold to the public. What better way to test than to use animals we would have otherwise eaten?
A possible reason for cruelty is when we ourselves are threatened, this threat usually comes in the form of taking livestock or in some way, causing us illness or stress, this doesn’t justify cruelty but it is understandable.
What then of animal rights? In effect giving then the same rights as us. As we have developed science and the public conscience has begun to understand that animals have feelings, and can suffer in a similar way to us. They can know fear and loneliness, they know disease and madness, these are signs of cruelty, and they should not be inflicted by people of learning on any creature, unless necessary. There is a sense in many of the world’s religions that animals have souls, and are basically the same as us in many ways.
With modern advances in science and technology, there should be, and often is, an alternative to animal testing. With synthetics and modern clothing, there isn’t the need for animal skins as clothing, or strong chemicals for crop protection. Furthermore, the idea of needlessly using animals where tests aren’t required is a sign of human contempt for other forms of life.
Many of the systems we use today, which incorporate cruelty against animals, are by their nature offensive to the general public. They often carry out their work in secrecy, we have the idea of the smoking beagle, or the test monkey, these are horrific facts of our progress, but, as we learn new and better ways of progressing they should be consigned to history as a shameful but important part of mans development.
In summary, the arguments for and against seem balanced, with a new awareness leading our decision makers to change their policies on the treatment of animals in their care and the world around us. An example being the whaling ships in the Antarctic, with live news coverage of their activities. In contrast, the idea that we eat and wear animals as a normal part of our daily lives, makes it hypocritical to make a fuss about the suffering of a few in directions that don’t concern us, however, this is the nature of man, and probably always will be.

Started at 10:12 Sunday 20 January Completed 10:42 Sunday 20 January

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843 words. Proofread and edited 16:00 Sunday 20the January 2008
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