Animal Rights Essay

1862 WordsAug 10, 20128 Pages
Animal Rights Part One: Summary Digest Peter Singer’s “All Animals Are Equal” begins by relating his work to those of feminist writer, Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Wollstonecraft is renowned for her publication of Vindication of the Rights of Women. In the Vindication of the Rights of Women, Wollstonecraft defends women’s rights, which were later rebutted by an anonymous publication, A Vindication of the Rights of Brutes. This begun Peter Signer’s thinking, that if these arguments were over the rights of women, then why not the same for animals. Singer then explains his case for animals by paralleling it to the case for equality between races and sexes. He reasons that equality cannot be based upon the race or sex of a human being because these characteristics reveal no real evidence of a person’s intellectual or moral capacities. This is because there is no direct evidence that discloses that a person’s race and sex is the sole factor in their character; no evidence has been shown that a person’s upbringing has no contribution to their intelligence and morals. Therefore, there is no ground for this argument to stand on. A human’s principle of equality is based upon the concern of their well-being just as it is with animals. Humans have prejudices against species just as they do races. This is defined by Singer as speciesism, or having a biased towards your own species and having a biased against any species but your own. Singer addresses the question: “If humans cannot exploit others based upon intelligence superiority, then why can humans exploit nonhumans of lower intelligence?” Another philosopher, Jeremy Bentham further explains this point by saying, “If a beings suffers, there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration”(161). We as humans are responsible for speciesism. A majority of our species

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