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Animal rights is the concept or idea that all or some of nonhuman animals are entitled to possession of their basic rights, lives and should be afforded same consideration and similar interests as human beings. Advocates of animal rights oppose the assignment of fundamental protections and moral value on basis of species membership. They argue that it is irrational and prejudice to assign moral values on species membership. Advocates of animal rights have a common agreement that animals should no longer be categorized as property, used as clothing, food, entertainment or research subjects. Animals just like human have moral rights which should be provided. Despite the vigorous campaigns on animal rights, there are a series of problems facing animal rights. Everyday animals are facing different challenges in their fight for their lives. Animals are regularly beaten, enslaved, and kept in chains so as to perform strenuous humans’ entertainment and domestic roles. There are some of the challenges facing animal rights which ought to be addressed. This research paper will investigate the problems in animal rights and offer solutions for addressing the problems.
Problems in animal rights
Animals are in day to day struggle for their lives following mistreatment, enslaving, mutilation, confinement and other forms of human torture. Animals are killed for human food, confined in cages, blinded, burned, poisoned, and at times cut alive for research. Advocates of animal rights are faced in day to day challenges in addressing issues facing animal rights. Many animals are tortured through being strangled, electrocuted, and skinned alive for human entertainment and other worse encountered. The suffering and abuse facing animals at hands of humans are sickening, heartbreaking, and infuriating. It is even more challenging to not that the everyday choices made by people like eating animals may be directly abusing animals. It is worth noting that it is hard to stop abuses against animals (Packwood, 2010, p.163).
Human overpopulation is one of the major problem facing animal rights. Human overpopulation can be ranked as the leading threat to domestic and wild animals across the globe. Over the last couple of centuries, human population has been doubling. The increase in human population is posing a great challenge to the survival of animals due to competition of resources as well as the high dependency of humans on animals. The abuse, displacement, and killing of animals is magnified by the increase of number of people across the globe. The human population is now approaching seven billion and this is a great threat to animal rights since the more the people the more animals will be displaced, killed or even abused. The impacts of human overpopulation on animals’ rights are more severe in the first world due to high consumption of animal products. This is in contrast to third world where they are experiencing high population growth though their impact on animals is minimal (Roger, 2010, p526).
The human society has a high regard of animals as property. Different species of animals have been accorded different social, financial and cultural value. In this regard, the abuse or use of the animals emerges from its treatment as human property. Human kill and use animals for different human purposes no matter how trivial depending on the property status. From a practical and current standpoint, changing property status of animals is beneficial for both pets as well as their human guardians. The use of animals for fur is for instance key threat to different species of animals which have valuable fur. Many animals are suffering and dying for fur, hence showing the immense violation of animal rights (Packwood, 2010, p.163).
Factory farming is a major factor contributing to cruel practices against animals. Not only are those practices are objectionable, but they lead to immense violation of animal rights. There is an increased factory farming involving human products. This is attributed to the increased demand of animals and their products for food. This practice is posing a great threat to human rights since animals are prone to being killed for human use. Alongside the focus on factory farming of dairy, pork, mutton, wool, and beef animals, the issues of fish and fishing is also a major problem in animal rights. Fish like other animals have rights and eating or killing them inflicts pain. Overfishing threatens survival and future regeneration of fish species thus violating animal rights. The emergence of commercial fishing has even worsened the situation since large scale exploitation of fish species occurs. Hunting is also a major threat to animal rights. Despite that many people have civilized and left the old days of hunting for food, there is a new trend of hunting for leisure and adventure. This is contrary to animal rights since it leads to killing of animals. It is important to note that people should oppose hunting since it goes contrary to animal rights (Packwood, 2010, p.163).
Growth and development of science and research has not acted well on animal rights. Many animals are presently being killed and mutilated in science labs for different experiments. Animal rights advocates are of the opinion that results obtained from animal experimentation are invalid if applied to humans. Execution of experiments on animals in this case violates their basic rights (Roger, 2010, p526).
The welfarist approach to animal ethics is also problematic in its own way, thus making it impossible to efficiently address issues of animal rights. To begin with, animal welfare or ethics provides insignificant is any protection and care to animal interests. For instance, the guidelines for following appropriate practices for human rights does not yield considerable results in protection of animal rights. Most of the guidelines by animal rights are based on delusion and offer hideous places for violation of human rights. It is imperative noting that different animal rights groups campaign for alternatives for gestation crate of species like pigs, but with close examination, their measures which are costly do not bear something substantial. This can be attributed to the many loopholes which give way for institutional exploitation of animals (Jeffrey, 2006, p.28).
The measures of animal rights/welfare groups only make the public feel passionate about animals. These measures make the public feel positive concerning animal exploitation but do not do anything to counter abuse of animals. After saying that animals are currently being treated humanely, people who had earlier forsaken the use animal products return to eating them. It is also ironical that animal rights/welfare reform increase animal suffering. This is because animal rights welfare does little to eradicate the property status/value of animals. Animal welfare can be seen to be ironical in their endeavors of protecting animal rights, since they do it in a way that provides economic benefits for humans. This aspect reinforces the animal property status as a commodity and property with immense financial value (Roger, 2010, p526).
The issue of animal rights has been jeopardized by the results of the efforts put in the campaigns of animal rights. Animal rights and welfare groups are in a zero-sum game. It is with pity that the efforts and money spent on campaigning for animal rights only make the exploitation of animals more humane. Little money and time has been spent on abolition education. Animal rights welfare has disregarded vegan and abolition education hence influencing people to continue exploiting animals though in a humane way. This is not as solution but rather a serious problem in animal rights (Packwood, 2010, p.163).
Solutions to problems in animal rights
The issue of animal rights can not be realized by animals but rather on humans. It should be noted that animals are putting their hopes on compassionate people to protect their rights and interests. Animals expect people to hear to their problems and address their challenges. It is an obligation of all people to be heroes of learning about the issues facing animals and take action. Each individual has power to save animals from suffering and offer the best habitat. It’s not a hard task to promote animal rights but it all requires a positive mind. People should learn to be compassionate and work hard to create a better environment for animals (Peter and Bruce, 2007, p.10).
Education on the significance of veganism should be heightened so as to realize successful protection and promotion of human rights. People should be enlightened on the power of abstaining from animal and animal products use. Avoidances of animal products leather, milk, meat, and silk among others should be advocated for. This is one of the most efficient ways promoting animal rights. Veganism has positive results through reduction of animal suffering in the short term. It also builds a positive culture of abolitionist which advocates for and supports great changes on animal rights in the future. Animal welfare should change their views of animals as a commodity and in turn advocate for veganism. The current animal rights reforms does not provide adequate protection of animal interests, this should be reviewed to focus more on realistic approaches like veganism (Packwood, 2010, p.163).
Animal rights/welfare advocates should not be partners in the factory farming industry to formulate standards which exploit animals. They should however focus on formulating of effective and sustainable standards which campaign against exploitation of animals. There is need for animal rights groups to stay clear in opposing strategies for exploiting animals. They should not in anyway forgive justification for morality in animal use. There is need to focus on one goal, decrease in the demand of animals and animal products. Animal rights groups should not be advocating for compassionate consumption of animal products. This only perpetuates demand and influence people to feel better while consuming animal products. The focus should be on advocating for total decrease and abolition of use of animal products (Peter and Bruce, 2007, p.10).
In order to sustainably solve the problems facing animal rights, the various stakeholders including the public, government and animal welfare groups should collaboratively identify the organizations and groups behind the violation of animal rights. The agendas of the organizations, groups, and agencies behind violation of animal rights should be established so as to help in formulating strong policies. There is need to identify politicians who are highly compromised and manipulated by animal rights. This will help in exposing their motivation and ensure transparency in the political class and animal welfare groups (Peter and Bruce, 2007, p.10).
Animal rights groups should deal with the issues of precedent and denigrate or deny other issues which may compromise animal rights. Attention should be paid to the major industries, meat eaters, pet owners and other groups dealing with animals. Animal rights activists should involve these stakeholders in the battle for animal rights. Appropriate guidelines and behaviors should been advocated for to all stakeholders. Without calling for appropriate behaviors among the different stakeholders, success in animal rights can not be attained (Izhar and Joel, 2011, p.999).
The primary issues in protection of animal rights include public education, public policy development, legislation, and public acceptance. Cultivation of these issues in the society will definitely offer sustainable solutions to the problems facing animal rights. In relation to legislation, more specific and strict guidelines on animal use and experimentation should be set up. A key guideline in this action is making a universal set of rules which should be applied world. This should include specific legislation on experimentation of animals as well as use of animal products. Every lab, slaughter house of farm factory should have the same regulations and rules. The guidelines on animal rights should be detailed and specific so as to prevent in kind of manipulation of misunderstanding. All guidelines on animal rights should call for easy access of food and water to all animals. Strong legislation for ensuring all animal rights and interests are protected should be put in place (David, 2012, p28).
Another key legislation is to limit the number of animals being used for laboratory experiments, human consumption, and sporting among other uses. By limiting the number of animals being abused, a culture of protecting animals will be developed. This is essential for ensuring sustainable coexistence between humans and animals. The issue of education should be given priority in the endeavors of protecting and promoting animal rights. By educating the consumers, more ethical and moral practices towards animals will be upheld. This will help in fighting abuses against animals. The purchase of animal products for different use calls readdress by animal rights champions. This needs vigorous campaigns educating the consumers on the need to protect animal welfare. The consumers and general public should be enlightened on the need for sustainability in dealing with animals (Roger, 2010, p.526).
In light of the above research on animal rights, it has been explicit that animals face numerous challenges on the hands of man. Animals are killed, tortured, enslaved, confined and electrocuted for different commercial, entertainment and social purposes. This is in contrast to human rights. The issues of human overpopulation, disregard of veganism, property status of animals have jeopardized efforts to ensured protection of animal rights. There is a high sense of laxity among champions of animal rights in addressing all issues of protecting and promoting interests of animals. Lack of proper legislations has also compromised animal rights. In response to these problems, veganism, education of the public, public acceptance, legislation and public policy development should be prioritized. These are the key issues of concern in setting sustainable solutions to problems facing animal rights.
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