Saturday, December 13, 2008

My final ethics paper---:::

I'm writing my final ethics paper on the equality of animals. What the paper will consist of, as any philosophy paper (in this class) has consisted of lately, will be a mixture of vocabulary words and bullshit sewn together so that if read twice, it may make sense.
Ironically, while reading through my research for the paper, the show Animal Police came onto the television (Animal Planet is one of three or four channels I watch, or know what channel they actually are). I sat back and watched it for a while, hoping for some inspiration to push me through writing this paper.
The show always angers me. Many times, animals are left abandoned by their previous owners, without food and adequate shelter. Other times they are removed from their active owners, who have physically abused them by malnourishment and beatings. What always bothers me is this:
why do some people think they are so much better than an animal that they can treat it however they want?
I look at these people as scum. They are the lowest form of a human being who deserve to be treated like a murderer or a rapist, they deserve to go to jail.
Whether human being or animal, any human being can recognize the look of pain in the eyes of a living creature. Those with compassion can also see suffering, hunger, and loneliness. Every human being is born with the ability to exhibit compassion, but many choose to ignore it.
This can be related back to my paper in many important ways. One of the questions that philospiher Peter Singer writes about is this:

[In regards to the equality of woman] "Many feminists hold that woman have the right to an abortion on request... Since a man cannot have an abortion, it is meaningless to talk of his right to have one. Since a dog can't vote, it is meaningless to talk of its right to vote" (Singer, 319. Animals and Environment).

To tie what I wrote into my argument above, if an animal can be hungry just as a person can, it should have the right to food. If an animal can feel physical pain in the same ways that a human can, than an animal should have the rights to not be submitted to abuse. Many other rights of animals fit into this formula, and should be recognized when debating the equality of animals with human beings.
This is a topic that has always hit home with me since I was a kid. I grew up in a family that always had animals. From cats and dogs to guinea pigs, turtles, chipmunks, and horses, we've had them all plus more. Even animals that are viewed as "scary" such as bats seen in horror flicks or horses that tower over the average person in size can exhibit emotions that any human being can relate to. Any human being can engage in many stages of empathy with an animal if they allow themselves to do so.
Personally, I think that my love for animals has come hand in hand with my love and compassion for people. I can cry for a person just as I could cry for an animal, and could never treat either one in a poor manner. I'll admit that there has been times when I have treated another person poorly, everyone has and it is only human, but a true good person can recognize this, repent and "patch it up," and learn from it. It sounds stupid and preachy, but it is something that I have learned through school and being around people, and has helped me have many diverse relationships with many diverse people. Some of the people who you think can't teach you anything are actually the ones who can teach you the most.
The same goes for animals. They will teach you much about life if you can learn to listen.

This blog really has jump started my paper. I'd better get back to it.
I'll try to keep my blogging more consistent...

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