Jeremy Rifkin Animal Rights Summary

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A Word on Animal Rights Over the past few years, more and more people have been calling for nonhuman animals to be given similar rights to those that humans have in first world countries. One of these activists is Jeremy Rifkin, who is an economic theorist. He wrote an article that argues that animals are much more like us than we previously thought, and we should treat with the same respect that we give to other humans. However, I believe his argument is problematic and should not be taken seriously. For starters, he doesn't cite any credible sources as evidence. Additionally, he gives no background information about himself, so we don't know whether he is a credible authority or not. His argument also relies too heavily on pathos. Worst…show more content…
One of his main examples is Koko the gorilla. Koko is a gorilla who was taught to communicate using sign language. “Equally impressive is Koko, the 300-pound gorilla at the Gorilla Foundation in Northern California, who was taught sign language and has mastered more than 1,000 signs and understands several thousand English words. On human IQ tests, she scores between 70 and 95.” (Rifkin 29). Rifkin fails to realize that Koko was a special case and doesn’t represent the entire gorilla population. Koko is only able to use sign language and communicate because humans taught her to. Not all animals can learn sign language. Gorillas are one of the more intelligent species so they were able to. But does Rifkin expect a pig or a dog to be capable of the same feat? One quote from a response to Rifkin’s essay sums all of this up. “Anyone who has owned a pet knows that animals can feel pain, happiness, anger, and other simple emotions. Most people have heard a parrot or a mynah bird talk, but this is just imitation and mimicry. We don’t need science to tell us that animals can do these things. However, does a parrot understand what it is saying? Can an animal write a poem, or even a grocery
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