Basic Tenets of Animal Rights

Electra K. Vasileiadou / Getty Images

动物权利是指动物具有与人类的任何价值分开的内在价值的信念,并且值得道德考虑。他们有权免受人类的压迫,监禁,使用和虐待。

动物权利的想法有些人可能很难完全接受。这是因为,全世界,动物被虐待并杀死各种社会可接受的目的,但当然,在社会上可接受的是文化相对。例如,在吃狗可能是道德上的攻击,许多人会与吃奶牛的做法相似。

在动物权利运动的核心,是两个基本原则:拒绝物种,以及动物是众生的知识。

物种主义

物种主义is the disparate treatment of individual beings, based solely on their species. It is frequently compared to racism or sexism.

物种主义有什么问题?

Animal rights is based on the belief that treating a non-human animal differently just because the animal belongs to a different species is arbitrary and morally wrong. Of course, there are differences between human and non-human animals, but the animal rights community believes that those differences are not morally relevant. For example, many believe that humans have some cognitive abilities that are different from or higher than other animals, but, for the animal rights community, cognitive ability is not morally relevant. If it were, the smartest humans would have more moral and legal rights than other humans who were deemed intellectually inferior. Even if this difference were morally relevant, this trait does not apply to all humans. A person who is profoundly mentally retarded does not have the reasoning capabilities of an adult dog, so cognitive ability cannot be used to defend speciesism.

人类不是独特的吗?

The traits that were once believed to be unique to humans have now been observed in non-human animals. Until other primates were observed making and using tools, it was believed that only humans could do so. It was also once believed that only humans could use language, but we now see that other species communicate verbally in their own languages and even use human-taught languages. In addition, we now know that animals have self-awareness, as demonstrated by the动物镜测试. However, even if these or other traits were unique to humans, they are not considered morally relevant by the animal rights community.

If we cannot use species to decide which beings or objects in our universe deserve our moral consideration, what trait can we use? For many animal rights activists, that trait is sentience.

Sentience

感觉是受苦的能力。作为哲学家Jeremy Bentham写道,“问题不是,他们可以理由吗?也不,他们可以说话吗?但是,他们可以忍受吗?“因为一只狗有能力的痛苦,一只狗值得我们的道德考虑。另一方面,一张桌子无法痛苦,因此不值得我们的道德考虑。虽然伤害表格可能是道德令人反感,但如果妥协到拥有或使用它的人的桌子的经济,美学或功利值,我们对桌子本身没有道德义务。

为什么感觉很重要?

Most people recognize that we should not engage in activities that cause pain and suffering to other people. Inherent in that recognition is the knowledge that other people are capable of pain and suffering. If an activity causes undue suffering to someone, the activity is morally unacceptable. If we accept that animals are capable of suffering, it is therefore morally unacceptable to cause them undue suffering. To treat animal suffering differently from human suffering would be speciesist.

What is “Undue” Suffering?

When is suffering justified? Many animal activists would argue that since humans are capable of living without动物食物, living without动物娱乐and living without cosmetics tested on animals, these forms of animal suffering have no moral justification. What aboutmedical research?不提供非动物医学研究,尽管对动物研究的科学价值与非动物研究有相当多的辩论。有些人认为动物实验结果不适用于人类,我们应该对人细胞和组织培养以及提供自愿和知情同意的人类受试者进行研究。其他人认为细胞或组织培养不能模拟整个动物,动物是最好的科学模式。无论知情同意如何,所有人都可能同意在人类上无法做出某些实验。从纯粹的动物权利的角度来看,动物不应该与人类不同地对待。Since involuntary human experimentation is universally condemned regardless of its scientific value and animals are incapable of giving voluntary consent to an experiment, animal experimentation should also be condemned.

也许动物不会受苦?

Some might argue that animals do not suffer. A 17th century philosopher, Rene Descartes, argued that animals operated like clocks—intricate machines that have instincts, but do not suffer or feel pain. Most people who have lived with a companion animal would probably disagree with Descartes’ assertion, having observed the animal first-hand and watched how the animal reacts to hunger, pain, and fear. Animal trainers are also aware that beating an animal will often produce the desired results, because the animal quickly learns what needs to be done in order to avoid suffering.

Isn't the Use of Animals Justified?

有些人可能会相信动物受苦,但争论动物痛苦在某些情况下是合理的。例如,他们可能认为屠宰牛是合理的,因为屠宰是一个目的,牛会被吃掉。但是,除非同样的论据同样适用于人类的屠宰和消费,否则该论点是基于物种主义。