The issue of equality has dominated society for quite some time now, with numerous organizations and movements being developed to urge for equality. The equality aspect takes many forms depending on the issue at hand, which have ranged for the demand for gender equality, fight against racial discrimination, equality for people from varied class levels, and so on. In recent times, however, issues of equality and promotion of equal rights for all have moved from being restrained to human beings and now covers even non-humans. Different scholars, organizations, and movements have been developed to fight for non-humans. An example includes the animal rights movement, or animal liberation forum, which is a social movement that deals with halting of the stiff legal and moral discrepancy put between human beings and animals. The movement tends to culminate the prominence of animals as possessions and terminate their use for consumption, to make clothing, in research, as well as in entertainment industries. Environmental movements have also been developed to urge for its protection and preservation.
The advocates for the animal liberation movement deem that the concerns of animals should be considered and accrued significant protection and recognition like those accrued to humans. These advocates, however, can be divided into two distinct groupings. The first one entails animal rights advocates, who hold into the conception these fundamental interests of individual animals, confer some form of moral rights for animals and thus are supposed to confer them with legal rights (Cavalieri, 2016). These connotations can be seen in the works of people like Leopold and Tom Regan. Utilitarian liberationists, in contrast, do not perceive animals as having moral rights; but instead, have their argument based on functional grounds. The primary basis of utilitarianism requires that moral decisions be based on the utmost contentment of the majority. As such, utilitarian liberationists acknowledge that animals can suffer, and as such, their suffering should be considered in every moral conception. Exclusion of animals from moral consideration based on their ability to experience pain is perceived as discrimination by these liberationists, and they describe it as speciesism. The works of Peter Singer are among the famous works of the Utilitarian liberationists.
Utilitarian liberationists like to argue for animals to be protected from suffering but not for accruing all beings' rights like a human. These scholars contend that animals can suffer and experience pain, just like human beings. Taking into consideration the suffering experienced by animals is acknowledgeable as a basis for checking on morality when dealing with animals. The main aspects of speciesism practiced by human beings are on research and consumption. Singer notes that human beings exploit animals to be able to have a meal. The pain and suffering by the animal are rarely considered, and not many human beings care about that as long as they get to enjoy a meal (Singer, 2017). Additionally, animals have been used in scientific research to assess the impact of some things on humans without any regard whatsoever of the suffering they encounter.
The environmental movement is concerned with the sustainable use of all resources and about the protection of the environment in general. The primary concern for environmentalists and conservationists have been on the maintenance of integrity, diversity authenticity, as well as the beauty of animals. It does not constrain on use of resources but requires that resource be used in a sustainable way, one that doesn't hamper continuity. The environment movement is not mainly concerned with its basis on the moral rights of animals but instead places more focus on population biology. The environment movement is concerned about the preservation and protection of animal species as part of the environment, but it does not do so with respect to moral considerations.
The moral assumptions held by the animal rights movements seem incompatible with the negations of the movements of environmental sustainability. As a matter of fact, in most instances, the basis and arguments held by animal liberalists since to collide with those of ecological movements. The concerns of the animal rights movement might be beneficial in ecological conservation, only in the short run. In the long-run, however, their approach can only end up deconstructing the agenda of environmental movements. The situation is more intense, considering the negations of animal rights advocates. Their main concern is that animals should be bestowed with rights, just like human beings (Sagoff, 1984). Killing animals in this light could be, therefore, considered wrong for being a violation right. This makes the convections of animal liberalists more of some humanitarian concept. If killing animals became a violation of animal rights, ultimately predators killing preys in the wild areas may also seem wrong. This does not seem to ascertain the law of natural selection. This kind of perception and assertion of animal rights can lead to the overpopulation of animals preyed upon. Overpopulation of animals renders the carrying capacity of the natural habitats of such animals incapable of effectively holding them. This is opposed to the principles of environmental movements whose basis is on population biology as opposed to animal rights.
The moral convention advocated by animal liberalist also suggests that animals like human beings should be treated with regard to morality. This belief contends that every action that animals are subjected to, human beings should first consider their moral standing. This, in a way, is quite an inapplicable scenario, and it does not match the principles of sustainability. Following the animal rights negation, and consideration of animals as being on a similar level as people lacks some practicability. This is because it would mean that killing animals for food is immoral and unacceptable. The negations of animal rights movements seem to be rather too limiting, unlike environmental movements which do not hamper the use of animal for consumption but is concerned with using them sustainably. It is impractical to have human beings rearing and looking after animals without making use of the products they offer. If this was to be the case, it would be logical that most animals will be forced to endure more suffering without someone to look after them. This scenario cannot be seen as the unselfish nature of human beings but a logical consequence. No individual would be willing to keep flocks in his household, feeding them and taking care of them yet fail to make use of its products since the animal has been accrued rights.
Again, the animal rights advocates seem to base their concerns on having animal rights of animals concerning endangered species. This is a bit undesirable as it implies that an animal is not subject to be accrued rights until it becomes endangered. They do not give equal essence of having animal rights to all animals in general. As such, their contribution and alignment with the sustainability aspect of the environmental movements are somewhat limited.
In summation, the desire for equality is notably a critical aspect that is upheld all over the world. Equality concerns came to rise to address entirely human misgivings at first. With time, however, different movements have been developed to call for equality of non-human beings. Such include the animal rights movement and the environmental movement. The animal rights movements have many attributes, but its main concern is that animals like humans should have rights that ought to be respected. In other words, the movement requires that animals ought to be treated in a way that is morally right and desirable. The environmental movement, on the other hand, advocates for sustainable use of every aspect of the environment. This implies proper use and protection of natural habitats, animal species among and even plant species. A moral conviction for animals that is necessitated by the animal rights movements is incompatible with the sustainability goals of the environmental movement. This is because, in the long -run, approaches of the animal rights liberationists might lead to exploitation of natural habitats of animals. It can also lead to the deconstruction of natural things by offering too much protection to preys, affecting activities like hunting by predators, which is a natural course. The animal liberalist should, therefore, be practical in their negations to ensure that they promote environmental sustainability in the course of having their needs met.
- Quote paper
- Isaac Githinji (Author), 2019, Analysis on the Moral Convictions of Animal Rights Movements, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1167292