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The debate about animal rights Essay


The debate about animal rights is a controversial among those that support the notion that animals have rights and those who hold the reverse notion. Some people oppose the use of animals in medical research because they say that violates the rights of the animals and amounts to animal cruelty. The others say animals have no rights and hence can be used in medical research. This paper will look at the comparisons between two articles; Why animals have no rights by Carl Cohen and All animals are equal by Peter Singer.

Both authors agree that animals and human beings suffer. Therefore, both should be treated with consideration to avoid unnecessary sufferings. Carl, a speciesist says animals suffer. Peter Singer says that animals suffer and certain kind of treatment can cause an animal to feel pain thus there it is important to treat the animals well.

The two authors differ on the use of animals in biomedical research. Carl argues that the use of animals in biomedical research is important and necessary. The bio medics use the animals to test for drugs and even though they inflict pain on the animals it does not mean they are being cruel to them.

The benefits of such laboratory research on the animals outweigh the sacrifice of some animals because drugs that help to cure human beings and other animals are developed. On the contrary, many people would suffer and die from diseases without a cure if animals were not used in the laboratory to run tests for drugs. The drugs developed have helped to alleviate pain, improve quality of life and eliminate some terrible diseases yet such drugs would never be developed without the use of animals (Cohen, 1986).

In contrast, Peter argues that the use of animals in medical research is cruel. He says that the use of an animal in a test to save human beings is immoral and just as the experimenters would not perform the tests on an orphan human infant even if that could save thousands of human beings so they should not perform the tests on animals because they suffer just like a human being would suffer. Therefore, there should be no discrimination between animals and human beings because animals have rights (Singer, 1989).

Carl says that” rights in general: they are in every case claims, or potential claims, within a community of moral agents” (Cohen, 1989, p.865). Thus, only human beings possess rights because they are the only ones capable of making moral claims and can or do against another human being.

Animals are not capable of any moral capability therefore they do not have rights. He urges that because animals lack the ability for moral judgement thus speciesism is alright and they can be used in medical research. On the contrary, Peter urges that animals have rights and appear to be able to enjoy life hence they should be allowed to live and not be used in medical laboratories and as food. He is against speciesism.

In conclusion, animals should be treated with consideration. I share similar views with those of Carl because I believe animals should be treated well, but they should be used in medical research because the benefits are huge and help humankind in dealing with diseases. Furthermore, animals are a source of food for many people and compliment other sources of food.

Reference List

Cohen, C. (1986). Why Animals Have No Rights/In Defense of Speciesism. Retrieved from

Singer, P. (1989). “All animals are equal.” In Tom Regan & Peter Singer (Eds.)

Animal Rights and Human Obligations, New Jersey, 1989, pp. 148-162. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2019, May 1). The debate about animal rights. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-debate-about-animal-rights/

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IvyPanda. "The debate about animal rights." May 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-debate-about-animal-rights/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The debate about animal rights." May 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-debate-about-animal-rights/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The debate about animal rights'. 1 May.

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