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“Animal Rights, Human Wrongs” by Tom Regan Essay

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Updated: May 6th, 2020

The famous animal rights activist Tom Regan in his article Animal Rights, Human Wrongs speaks about a necessity of a radical approach towards animal rights. He states that it is necessary not to reform the way animals are exploited, but to totally abolish this exploitation.

In order to make his arguments persuasive the author widely uses ethos, logos and pathos. The examples of ethos may be found at the very beginning of the article. The author appeals to his personal experience giving many examples from his youth. For instance, he describes the life of his family after the Great Depression, when a welfare has been measured with food, which this family has been able to buy.

Regan describes the experience of his work in a butcher shop, such presents as mink hat given by him to his wife and his experience in a dissection of experimental animals during his student years.

Describing all these events of his life, Tom Regan states that he has not liked his working as a butcher as well as the animal experiments. However, like everyone else, in his young days he has not worried about moral aspects of such attitude towards animals. Later on, impressed by the war in Vietnam and by the study of Gandhi, Regan has revised his opinion.

Now Regan is famous as a philosopher and an animal rights advocate. He is an author of many books dealing with a protection of animal rights. Regan is known as a vegetarian. While describing his decision to refuse from meat, Regan appeals to logos. “I knew that my good health did not require animal flesh in my diet. So the logic was fairly obvious: the violent slaughter of animals for food was unnecessary” (Regan 3).

Moreover, Regans decision to become a vegetarian to a great extant has been predetermined by his reading of Gandhi, from which he has known that a cow is a sacred animal in India. In this country, beef eating is a deep sin. Regan states that he “feels the same way about cats and dogs” (4).

The author uses logos to emphasize a ridiculousness of this situation. What is the difference between a cat and a cow? We used to eat pork and at the same time, eating dogs is inadmissible for us. Regan states that it is a nonsense that our choice of food is predetermined by religious traditions or prejudices of any kind.

Throughout the article, Regan describes cases of a cruel attitude towards animals causing in such a way a reader to feel guilty. The author is very knowledgeable in this sphere and he vividly describes terrible conditions of animals living on farms. A factory farming is a business, which is subdued to economic benefits.

Apart from a short period of live of these animals, they are treated as “biological machines” (Regan 12). In such a way, Regan resorts to pathos exiting pity to “hogs, chickens, turkeys and other animals raised for human consumption” (12).

The author gives a particular emphasis to a trapping describing it cruelness and senselessness. Regan condemns the partiality of people for furs. Describing barbarous methods of the trapping, the author resorts to pathos trying to make a reader to feel a pain that experiences a caught animal. As Regan puts is “a physical trauma of a trapped animal has been likened to a slamming door on a finger” (16). Moreover, a suffering of a trapped animal is emphasized by its complete disorientation.

Unlike a human being, animals cannot realize what has happened. While explaining attempts of a trapped animal to escape, the author describes such terrible things as broken teeth and serious wounds. There are many cases when trapped animals “chew through the leg which is being held in the trap” (Regan 16). The author uses logos to underline the senselessness of such a rough attitude to animals. Regan states that sometimes “a fur of a trapped animal is so bloody and gnarled that it is economically useless” (15).

In order to persuade a reader Regan uses statistic data, resorting to ethos in such a way. For instance, the author quotes such organization as Friends of Animals, which estimates that (as cited in Regan) “a quarter of those animals trapped for their fur are lost to wring off” (15). Aside from its cruelty, this fact proves the senselessness of these animals killing because of their fur.

Regan strongly disagrees with a use of animals in science. He compares the living conditions of such animals with a “living hell” (Regan 19). All these animals are exposed to different laboratory experiments. The aim of these experiments is to investigate a body response on different toxic substances. Even those animals who manage to survive are killed by the further dissection for scientific purposes. It goes without saying that during the process of the experiment, test animals are suffering from various diseases.

In his article, Regan uses ethos, logos and pathos to make his arguments strong and persuasive. It must be admitted that he has succeeded in it. Regans article stimulates a reader to make efforts in order to stop violence against animals. Regans personal experience makes people to rethink many things.

Works Cited

Regan, Tom. Animal Rights, Human Wrongs. An Introduction to Moral Philosophy, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2003. Print.

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