Letter to the Editor of "A Change of Heart About Animals"

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26 November 2012 Christian Flores 28000 Wolverine Way, Aliso Viejo, 92656 Davan Maharaj Los Angeles Times 202 West 1st Street Los Angeles, CA, 90012 Dear Editor, In Jeremy Rifkin’s article “A Change of Heart About Animals,” he speaks about how we should treat animals better because they are more like humans than what is commonly believed. In the article he says “many of our fellow creatures are more like us than we had ever imagined,” to show his argument. Rifkin makes many points about how animals should be treated humanely in his article and these arguments are, for the most part, very reasonable. I agree, to an extent, with Jeremy Rifkin and his arguments. In the article, Jeremy Rifkin shows that it would be illogical to disagree that animals have human-like qualities through studies. In one of the studies from the Gorilla Foundation in Northern California, “Koko, the 300-pound gorilla… was taught sign language and has mastered more than 1,000 signs and understands several thousand English words.” I find it strange that anyone could possibly disagree with Rifkin’s argument about gorillas after reading how Koko could not only communicate with, but also understand humans. Rifkin uses a lot of research in his argument from prestigious universities such as Oxford and Harvard. In one example he explains a study from Oxford University that showed that two birds used tools to acquire food. In his other example he stated that Harvard and 25 other law schools have courses on animal rights. Rifkin uses these highly renowned schools to his advantage. It would be surprising if anyone didn’t believe his argument from these studies. One of Rifkin’s arguments is that we should treat animals better because of the fact that animals have self-awareness. This is where I disagree with him entirely. He uses examples of rats releasing dopamine from their brains and

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