Should Animals Have the Same Rights as People Essay

Pages: 3 (1094 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Animals

¶ … Animals have the same rights as people?

The argument presented while in support of animal rights does not assert that animals should have the same exact rights as people. However, animals do have feelings, they have emotions, and there is empirical science to back up the contention that animals to grieve like humans. It is the position of this paper that animals' emotions are closer to human emotions than has been previously known, and that animals should have more rights and more respect than they do now.

Animals Deserve Respect and Should Have Rights

So many instances of animal cruelty are available in the news these days, from the gruesome slaughter of millions of animals on "factory farms" (where chickens, cows, and pigs stand in their own excrement and are pumped full of antibiotics to keep them healthy enough to be slaughtered) to the brutal, inhumane use of animals in testing labs that do research for cosmetics and other frivolous products.

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Specifically, one point that can be made that links animals' emotions with human emotions is the fact that animals do grieve. Journalist Courtney Langley writes an interesting story in the Virginia Gazette regarding animal research by anthropology professor Barbara King at the College of William and Mary. King's recent book, How Animals Grieve, points to a poignant story about two ducks. These ducks has been rescued from a foie gras factory; foie gras is a controversial method of force-feeding ducks with far more food than they would ever eat normally and the point is to fatten up the liver of the duck for people to eat.

Essay on Should Animals Have the Same Rights as People Assignment

King reports that these rescued ducks were "…decimated and traumatized" but they bonded with each other in a farm animal sanctuary. Their names were Harper and Kohl, and with loving treatment they lived for a few years. But eventually Kohl became seriously ill and had to be euthanized. The supervisors at the rescue farm allowed Harper to be present while Kohl was put down. "When his friend was lying still, dead, on the ground, Harper came over to his friend and put his neck over top of his friend and laid there, and just sat with the body" (Langley, 2013). But that was only part of this sad scene; for weeks, Harper had what King called a "sorrow response," because Harper would not eat, he avoided other ducks and "became afraid of people" (Langley, p. 1). The behaviors Harper showed were "…specific about the loss of his friend," King explained.

King has discovered other evidence about animals and grieving that is compelling; for example she discusses Eleanor, a Kenyan matriarch elephant in Africa, who died and was visited by her calf along with "…a parade of female elephants, some of whom stood guard over her body" (Langley, p. 2). In fact elephants from five different families visited Eleanor's body and stood by; they likely never knew Eleanor and this indicates to King that elephants do mourn.

Crows, too, mourn their dead, according to a story in Mother Nature Network. It is known that crows form life-long bonds, and it is also known that when a crow dies, other crows "…flock to the bodies of their deceased, diving and swooping and emitting a call that summons other birds" (Moss,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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