23 November 2010
HAVE A HEART:
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A VEGETARIAN TO HAVE ONE
In ancient times animals were admired by the Egyptians, believing that they were the incarnation of the God or goddess; but nowadays they are being brutalized and savaged in every way possible, and we are the only ones responsible for it. Animals are being slaughtered just so wecan show of their skins in fashion events or even maybe place them under our couch and decorate our living room. We kill them for pure sport, or even imprison them just for our entertainment. Many people nowadays use products that are not animal friendly, without even knowing the true story. It is time that people realize the morbid situation that lies behind their leather jackets, and for thefashion industry to stop promoting this kind of behavior.
To keep it simple, animal rights is the idea that the most basic interests of animals should be given the same consideration as the similar interests of humans. The animal rights movement has its roots way back since the 18th and 19th century. Nowadays animal law is taught in 113 out of 180 law schools in the United States. Two of thebiggest organizations that help create awareness among humans and stop slaughter are PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Both organizations create campaigns, protests, and take action into basically anything that they believe is against animal rights.
“We are not nuggets! Please don’t eat us” Something to create awareness
First it isimportant to have clear why we humans need to treat animals with more respect. It is better to reach this point through ethics, using a utilitarian approach. Utilitarianism says that what makes something right or something wrong is determined by its consequences. When we torture an animal, what are the consequences? Pain of course, meaning that the consequences are bad, therefore the act ismorally wrong. Peter Singer (Australian philosopher) published a book in 1975 called “Animal Liberation” –also using a utilitarian approach- said that “(…) the killing of animals for food and their use for experimental purposes should be morally condemned per se because the infliction of pain means that they lead miserable lives". Singer also says that the basic animal interests should be taken intoconsideration for the mere fact that they can suffer independent from their intelligence. On the other hand, some argue that morality is only concerned with humans because animals do not understand it. By this then, we can come up with many contradicting arguments. If what was mentioned before is true, then it is valid to say that our moral obligations to infants and young children are also uselessand we shouldn’t even take them into consideration, because they don’t understand morals? If anything, a dog at a very young age is capable of understanding where he can or cannot pee. He is also capable of understanding when something he did is wrong. Don’t we take this into account?
I conducted a survey among FIU (Florida International University) students in the hopes of receiving somefeedback regarding their opinion of some activities that involve animals suffering. The survey was completed by forty one (41) students, twenty eight (28) girls and thirteen (13) boys. Of those 41 students, 17—42 percent—of them have pets. None of the students are vegetarians. I believed that these factors (pets, gender and a vegan diet) would make a difference in most of the student’s responses.Question number one stated “Do you believe that animal slaughter must stop?” 53 percent of the students that have pets said that it should stop. The rest responded “no”, or “I don’t mind”. On the other hand, 58 percent of the students that do not have pets responded that animal slaughter must stop also. These results were a bit surprising given the fact that I believed a bigger population of students...