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Animal Rights

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Is it morally wrong to eat meat?

The movement for animal rights, which is also known as animal liberation, is the concept that the basic interests of animals should be regarded with an equal eye as with humans. It promotes the fact that animal should not be treated as public property, traded or be made a part of any business transaction, but they should be treated as legal persons, with their own rights. According to the Utilitarianism view, right is what will promote the greatest possible happiness of the greatest possible number happiness.

There are many questions that arise as a result of the views presented by different philosophers. One of the questions that arise is “Is it morally wrong to eat meat?” The case for animal rights has been advocated by Peter Singer who maintains that there is a difference between the rights of human beings and animals but that the later should be given equal consideration and that all animals are equal. R.G.Frey, meanwhile, considers that the human beings have a higher value as compared to animals on account of their potential and abilities and the quality of life that they lead. However he accepts that equal pain and suffering is also suffered by animals. In Tom Regan’s case for animal rights, he speaks about how animals have moral rights and if due respect is given to human beings who are not rational, such as infants or mentally challenged people, then animals should not be deprived of this right just because they cannot make rational decisions for themselves.

Utilitarianism views state that the moral worth of an action can be judged only by how it contributes to overall utility or satisfaction, that is, the outcome of an action will decide its worth. With regard to animal rights, Peter Singer and R.G.Frey were act- utilitarian. Going back to the Classical utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) believed that pleasure and suffering is equal and those who suffer or experience pleasure should also be treated as equals. John Stuart Mill’s (1806-1873) views stood up to the fact that beings which are capable of getting higher pleasures should be preferred over beings that are capable of getting lower pleasures. But is it really justifiable to kill beings for food just because they lack in some abilities or are incapable of leading a higher quality of life?

According to Singer, animals were to be given the same considerations as human beings on account on their capability to feel pleasure of pain. His views stated that moral considerations is even given to human beings who are irrational and unsound, then animals deserve moral considerations from human beings too. He argued against speciesism; animals should not be discriminated against just because they belong to another class of specie. He did not believe in equal rights, as animals can not have the right they cannot use, like the right of voting.

These views were also supported by Tom Regan to an extent in later years who stated that animals have equal inherent value to humans and

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