ANIMAL RIGHTS “Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people. ” César Chávez By Ann-Maree Vyvyan 8604284 and Melissa Watkins S00039373 What are Animal Rights? • “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way” http://www.peta.org/issues/default.aspx • Animals deserve consideration of their best interests. • Every animal has rights themselves which must be respected. • It is the right not to be someone else's property. • Animals have an interest in living, avoiding pain and pursuing happiness as do humans. • “Animals have a life of their own that is of importance to them apart from their utility to us. They are not only in the world, but aware of it. What happens to them matters to them. Each has a life that fares better or worse for the ones whose life it is” (Healy, 2004, p.1). • “Animal rights must be fought for in the same way that people fight for women’s rights, civil rights and all human rights” (Allison, 1986, p.5). Questioning and Reflection Do animals have the same rights as humans? “I am in favour of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being” – Abraham Lincoln • This has been a great debate for many years. It is important that we as educators are aware of both arguments for and against this question and present the students with both perspective to allow them to make up their own mind on where they stand on this topic. • This table is a valuable resource to use when discussing this topic. Pros Cons Human beings are complex evolved creatures who are accorded the rights on the basis that they are able to think and feel pain. Many other animals are also able to think and are certainly able to feel pain. Therefore, non-human animals should also be accorded rights. Human beings are infinitely more complex than any other living creatures. Their abilities to think and talk, to form social systems with rights with rights and responsibilities, and to feel emotions are uniquely developed well beyond any other animals. It is reasonable to try to prevent the most obvious cases of gratuitous suffering or torture of animals, but beyond that, non-human animals do not deserve to be given ‘rights’. Ever since the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859 we know that human beings are related to common decent to all other animals. We owe a duty of care to our animal cousins. The fact that we are (distantly) related to other animals does not mean that it makes sense to talk about them having ‘rights’. This sort of thinking would have absurd consequences: e.g. saying that we should respect the ‘right’ to life of bacteria, or the ‘right’ of the AIDS virus to move freely and without restriction, and to associate freely with other living organisms. We might wish to reduce unnecessary animal suffering, but not because all creatures to which we are distantly related have rights. We should err on the side of caution in ascribing rights to human or non-human creatures. If we place high standards (such as the ability to think, speak, or even to enter into a social contract) on the ascription of rights there is a danger than not only animals, but also human infants and mentally handicapped adults will be excluded from basic rights. Only human being who are members of society have ‘rights’. Rights are privileges that come with certain social duties and moral responsibilities. Animals are not capable of entering into this sort of ‘social contract’ – They do not respect our ‘rights’, and they are irrational and entirely instinctual. Amoral and irrational creatures have neither rights nor duties – they are more like robots than people. All human beings or potential human beings (e.g unborn children) can potentially be given rights, but no non-human animals fall into that category. Cruelty to animals (e.g. bull fighting, fox hunting, battery hen farming) is the sign of an uncivilised society – it encourages violence and barbarianism in society more generally. A society that respects animals and restrains base and violent instincts is a more civilised one. It is perfectly natural to use animals for our own nutrition and pleasure – in the wild there is much suffering as animals struggle to survive, are hunted by predators, and compete for food and resources. Human beings have been successful in this struggle for existence and do not need to feel ashamed of exploiting their position as a successful species in the evolutionary process Author: Thomas Dixon (UK). Dr. Thomas is researched fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. Database – the online debate topic database, www.database.org. Last modified: Friday 30 June 2000 Cited in: (Healy, 2004, p.9) Further questions to reflect on… • Are animals suffering unnecessarily at the hand of pet owners, zookeepers, farmers, scientists and hunters? • Do we have the right to harm animals by using them in ways we do? (Take a few minutes to reflect upon these questions. Listen to some music while you think about this!) Click on the link below to hear ‘Lite a Flame’ (The animal rights song) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3u3sAJcrQFY Animal Cruelty or Abuse What is it? Any types of brutality, neglect or teasing by humans upon non - human animals. Do we need to harm animals? • Humans need them less for protection and food gathering and more for other reasons like testing drugs, comforting lonely people and providing people with meat. • People harm animals when they put human needs before animal needs. • Animals, plants and humans all live in the same world and depend on each other, therefore we need to respect animals needs for our own sake. What is the difference between ‘animal rights’ and ‘animal welfare’? It is important to know the difference between ‘animal rights’ and ‘animal welfare’ There are two approaches to the issue; • Animal welfare refers that there is nothing wrong with using animals for human purposes such as food, clothing and entertainment as long as it is done in a humane way that minimizes unnecessary pain and suffering. • Animal Rights refers that there is no humane way and that this can differ to one’s own interpretation. The animals are not ours to eat, use for food, clothing, entertainment or experimentation. Animals have rights, just like humans do. Key Issues It is important that people are aware of the many issues. Some are; • Animal Experiments and Testing • The Catholic Churches beliefs on Animal Rights • Factory Farming • Live Animal Exports • Animals for Entertainment • Products and Fashion • Diet • Neglect as Pet owners Animal Testing Life Saving Medicines Or Necessary Evil ??? Animal Experiments and Testing 5.5 Million animals used in Scientific Research in Australia in 2010 What is it? • Animal testing is the subjecting of any animals to experimentation for any of a wide range of objectives including medical research, product development, space exploration. This places a great physical and psychological burden on animals as they endure both tortuous confinement and in many cases physical or chemical torture. • Not all of this research was the invasive laboratory stuff – some was simply observation. Nonetheless, much animal testing involves potential or actual harm to the animal. • While many people object to animal testing in superficial fields – cosmetics, for example – the issue becomes more vexed when we’re talking about searching for medical breakthroughs or testing potentially life-saving vaccines for side-effects. If testing on animals prevents deaths in humans, is that for the greater good? • Critics point out that animals differ from humans in anatomy, metabolism, and genetics, and question whether data can truly be extrapolated to humans with sufficient accuracy. • But that hasn’t stopped animal testing from leading to such breakthroughs as the treatment of diabetes with insulin, and vaccines for polio and leprosy. • Medical researchers say they are obliged to ensure that therapies provided to patients are the safest they can be. Click here to watch the clip presented on 'The Project' about the issue Animal Testing (See 1 minute into news report) Church Teachings God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives. The Catechism 2416 • "Certainly, a sort of industrial use of creatures, so that geese are fed in such a way as to produce as large a liver as possible, or hens live so packed together that they become just caricatures of birds, this degrading of living creatures to a commodity seems to me in fact to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible." Pope Benedict XVI attacks Factory Farming – Affects 10 Billion animals a year in the USA alone Animals Possess a Soul • Compassion for animals was also a prominent theme in the late John Paul II's papacy. Pope John Paul II proclaimed that "the animals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren." He went on to say that all animals are "fruit of the creative action of the Holy Spirit and merit respect" and that they are "as near to God as men are.“ • Pope John Paul II reminded people that all living beings, including animals, came into being because of the "breath" of God. Animals possess the divine spark of life—the living quality that is the soul—and they are not inferior beings, as factory farmers, fur farmers, and others who exploit animals for profit would have us believe. Pope John Paul II : “As near to God as men are” Factory Farming What is it? • • This is raising livestock in crowded indoor warehouses designed to produce the highest number of animals in the least amount of space. This is to maximise profits. This can be quite cruel. “Today’s main system of farming is intensive, based on keeping the largest possible number of animals in the highest possible number of pens, stalls, crates and cages for the biggest possible profit.” (p.21Let’s Discuss) What are the effects? • • • • • • • Can increase the incidence of disease. Responsible for the pollution of soil, rivers, and groundwater because of its high output of manure and other waste. The animals endure restrictions in their movement, space allowance and social contact. Causes suffering and stress to animals. Causes behavioural deprivation Causes physical injury and deformities. The Animals Liberation quotes that; “Factory Farming denies animals any rights whatsoever. Battery hens are squashed into tiny cages. Sows are shut up in crates hardly bigger than they are. Cattle are confined in feedlots where they are forced to change their diet and have no access to grazing. Birds Bred for consumption endure fast growth that their legs will not support them and they are slaughtered at 5-6 weeks. All of these practices torture animals and deny them the right and the opportunity to enjoy life.” (Animals Liberation Brochure) Factory Farming What are the pros of Factory Farming? • • • • • • • Agricultural science and technology have progressed. Research has led to more productive breeds of animals Greater knowledge of animals needs Advances in dealing with disease. Buildings, lighting, temperature, ventilation, watering, feeding and waste removal are controlled automatically. Antibiotics are given regularly Hormones are used for fast growth. What can we do? - Don’t support this industry - Give up bacon and eggs as well as pig products If you can’t… - Buy free range products Animals for Entertainment There are many types of animal entertainment. These have been around for years. We need to be aware of the many ways animals are used for entertainment. • • • • • • • • • • Horse Drawn carts Circuses Zoos and Pseudo-sanctuaries Exotic animals as pets Animal Actors Fairs, games and rides Horse Racing – using whips Cruel sports like cock fighting, bear baiting, bull fighting and rodeos Dangerous Animal Incidents Hunting animals for fun Issues - Reflection questions • Is it fair to keep a wild animal in prison for all it’s life? • Is it right to deny an animal its natural behaviour? • Is it civilized to encourage humans to find the slavery of animals amusing? "When children see animals in a circus, they learn that animals exist for our amusement. Quite apart from the cruelty involved in training and confining these animals, the whole idea that we should enjoy the humiliating spectacle of an elephant or lion made to perform circus tricks shows a lack of respect for the animals as individuals” — Peter Singer Author/Philosopher, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University What is it? Circuses that chain and cage animals to perform and entertain a crowd. Animals are often taken from town to town which means the animals are always on the move and have no consistency. What are the effects? • • • • The animals is circuses spend up to 23 hours a day in cages or behind electric fences. The animals have nothing to do, except when training or performing. They have no freedom and no lives of their own. Causes stress and suffering. (Healy, 2004, p.37) What can we do? - Alternatives Animals should be in their natural environment. An animalfree circus is just as brilliant and amusing and these entire solely on human skills. Go and see these animal free circuses; - Circus Oz - Cirque du Soleil - Circus Sunrise - The Flying Fruit Circus Live Exportation of Animals What is it? This is were live animals, mainly sheep and cattle, are being exported live by sea to other countries. Export Markets Sheep Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Israel, Lebanon, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Breeder cattle Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Jordan, Japan, Israel and Brunei. Dairy cattle China, Mexico, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Goats Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius and Brunei. Where do we send our animals? Facts • Australia is the world's leading supplier of high quality live cattle, sheep and goats to countries around the world, in particular throughout the Middle East and South-East Asia. • Many countries across these regions do not have the resources or geography to efficiently produce enough livestock to feed their population. Australia meets the demand for essential red meat protein by exporting livestock for food production and breeding, as well as chilled and frozen meat products. • In 2003, 73,300 died of sickness and stress during the 3 week journey. On arrival those surviving are killed or trucked long distances without food or water and their throats are cut without pre-stunning. • In 2006, Lyn white from Animal Australia, toured The Middle East and Egypt. The finding were astonishing. • 60 Minutes television exposed animals going into Basateen Abattoir in Egypt having their tendons slashed and eyes poked with knives while about to be slaughted. • Last year, Animal’s Australia exposed the horrific cruelty inflicted on Australian cattle in Indonesia causing a tidal wave of outrage and distress throughout the Australian community. Faced with a public demanding that live export be banned, the Gillard government suspended the trade the Indonesia and there was a collective sigh of relief in the Australian community. The decision to reopen the trade to Indonesia in July 2011, was greeted with anger and disbelief. The Gillard government responded by promising Australians that a new regulatory system would protect animals from cruelty despite the flaws in this new system being obvious. Despite government assurances that never again would the live trade ‘self regulate’ it has been Animals Australia that has again provided evidence that horrendous cruelty to cattle continues in Indonesia. What our Indonesian based investigator documented at three abattoirs in Jakarta in late January has again shocked Australians. Bringing in Millions but is it Humane? • Does the manner in which the animal is killed matter? • Does the extent of the animal’s suffering prior to, or during their death matter? • Do we have a particular moral duty towards animals bred in Australia, animals we chose to bring into this world? http://theconversation.edu.au/live-animal-exportwhen-others-do-the-killing-for-us-1562 Australia Suspends Live Cattle Export • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irma-GJsBvk ABC news Australia Bans Cattle export to Indonesia • A Bloody Business http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/2011 0530/cattle/ The live export trade contributes $1.8 billion to the economy but is it moral? Fashion Should we wear clothing made from animals? FUR and animal skins • • • • • • • • In the past people wore animal fur as it was the only material to keep them warm. Today, people wear fur because they think it looks beautiful. Today, warm clothing can be made from plant-products or man-made substances instead. e.g. polyester or nylon. Majority of animal skins used in the fur trade come from farms. Animals suffer Pacing and weaving – animals try to get away Deformed feet due to bad flooring Humans try to preserve the pelt – in turn, death is by injections, gassing, electrocution or neck breaking. FUR FACTS – Taken from the Animal Liberation Brochure • - Estimated 80-100 million animals are killed by the clothing and fur trades each year. Over 323,000 trapped raccoon - Over 40,000,000 farmed mink Over 145,000 trapped sable - Over 4,850,000 farmed fox Over 5,000,000 wild fox (165,000 trapped red fox in Australia) Over 4,000,000 kangaroos All figures from International Pelt Auction sources 1988 Leather • • • • • Animals Liberation states in their brochure that; “The leather industry is cruel and toxic for animals, the environment and human health”. They also state that; “leather is sometimes but not always a by product of the meat industry. It falls into two categories – “farmed” and “exotic.” Farmed animals in intensive systems endure unrelenting suffereing. Whether leather is a by-product or purpose grown there is a litany of physical mutilation and behavioural deprivation.” (Animals Liberation Brochure, p.1) Leather is a treated hazardous chemical. It needs to be treated so it does not rot. Leather tanneries are bad for the environment as leather is a “energy-intensive industry”. People near leather tanneries often have high levels of cancers caused by contamination. Does leather really look good? When… Cattle are mutilated and dehorned Goats are slaughtered when young Rabbits are poisoned Emus and Ostriches have their ends of toes cut off with hot blade machines Alligators and crocodiles are being hammered, chiseled, axed and pounded into their spines Kangaroos are hauled up by hooks in the legs Snakes and lizards are skinned alive which increases the suppleness of the leather. Diet • People that are vegetarians (someone who does not eat meat) or vegans (someone who does not eat or wear anything that is required using an animal – they do not eat meat, milk or cheese, eggs or honey and they avoid any products that have been tested on animals) believe that the eating of meat and the killing of animals is wrong. - Milk is full of casien, which is the main ingredients of glue. Dairy cattle are fed antibiotics Milk contains hormones People can get calcium from vegetables and other foods rather than milk and meat. Egg production involves cruelty – the males are killed as they don’t lay eggs. Hens are transported and slaughtered when their egg laying declines. (Taken from Animal Liberation Brochure) Pet Owners • Kept as companion animals because they give affection and depend on human care. • Animals such as; - Dogs, cats, rabbits, horses and guinea pigs Etc • Sometimes owners neglect their pets due to the owner’s lack of commitment to the animal. • Some pets are left to starve and a experience a lack of exercise. • Lots of animals end up in animal shelters each year. • Abandoned animals kept as pets can result in accidents, starvation, disease or predators. • The main aim is for owners to take responsibility for their animals in their care. Theorists • Peter Singer Click on the Image to watch Peter Singers view on Animal Rights Theorists Tom Regan “I regard myself as an advocate of animal rights-as a part of the animal rights movement. That movement, as I conceive it, is committed to a number of goals, including: • The total abolition of the use of animals in science. • The total number dissolution of commercial animal agriculture. • The total elimination of commercial and sport hunting and trapping.” Cited in; Peter Singer (ed). (1985). Defense of Animals. New York: Basil Blackwell. pp.13-26. For further information read ‘The Case for Animal Rights’ by Tom Regan. Gary L. Francione - Go to You Tube: I’m Vegan: Gary Francione Explore the website to find out more information on Francione’s www.abolitionistapproach.com/ Where to from here? What we can do as educators? • • • • Be informed ourselves as teachers Present a non-biased view Inform our students of the many issues (pros and cons). Encourage them to make up their own minds and… For further information please see the resource word files.