Establishing the Rights of Animals in Law and Human Consciousness
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Establishing the Rights of Animals in Law and Human Consciousness
Comments by Deborah Jones - 27 Sep 2006

Dear Frank,

Could one way of getting to the root of animal cruelty be by explaining that animals do not belong to us?

It is this sense of ownership which I believe causes people to treat animals as instruments. All species (including ourselves) are related as coming from the same basic stock, and all have their own ends for themselves (as Christians would say, those ends are the glory of God - but you want to cut the religious language). As sentient beings they are different from other living forms, such as trees, crops, etc, and therefore are to be placed in a different category, one that grants them the power to be truly themselves. If they can be of help to humankind, without endangering their own welfare, that is not in itself wrong - but there is an obligation of duty upon the responsible species to see that this help does not become exploited.

This is more where I am - cautious about unsubstantiated rights language and definitely opposed to any disparagement of people who are working for the better welfare of animals.

I hope this helps, I do not mean to just be a party-pooper!

Best wishes,

Deborah

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