Saturday, March 15, 2003

Animal Liberation(part 2)
So if we cannot harm animals or use them for ourselves because of the differences we observe, is there any other reason that can possibly justify the way we treat animals? Are human’s ability to speak or his faculty to reason convincing motives for his behavior? But what can we say about a human infant who cannot reason or speak? Can we treat infants in any possible way we want or use them for any purpose? What about mentally disturbed, retarded or speechless persons?
But if we accept that there is no reason to justify the way we treat animals, do we have any reason that we should change our behavior? In other words we don’t have any reason to make what we do commendable, but do we have any reason against it? Not having a supporting reason for our behavior is a necessary reason for stopping it, but not a sufficient reason. The necessity to observe human rights brings with it the necessity to define these rights and to know about its possible breaches. This seems to be a hard thing to do for animals since we don’t share exactly the same feelings with them and we cannot talk with them to get to know their expectations. Besides that, animals are so varied and as a result different in their needs that makes this task a formidable one. So for now I pick a simple solution to this seemingly inscrutable problem and that is the “sense of suffering”. Though it is only part of the whole thing, it is a starting point for our talk. Only If we agree that inflicting suffering on animals is the breach of their right we have counted animals’ suffering equally with like sufferings of humans. But do animals suffer? I think most of us would unhesitatingly agree that animals like cats and dogs can and do suffer. Those laws that prohibit wanton cruelty to animals consider this as an axiom.
(posted by Farid)

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