Animal Rights? A simple understanding about the fair treatment and preservation of animals. Decided by looking at the livelihood of current day animals much like chickens and pigs and justifying that the way they live is no condition for what they deserve. That word, ‘deserve’, defined by Oxford as “Do something or have or show qualities worthy of”. Does every animal deserve the fair treatment of comfort? What are the standards in which animal farms need to be in line with in order for people to feel that animal rights are fulfilled? Are animals that are bred for the sole purpose of food worthy of being taken care or in a human manner.
Everywhere there are people, there are animals to serve a purpose. In our households, we have dogs, cats, birds and reptiles (among a few) as pets. Humans affinity for animals is both a simple and tricky thing. With the animals, we have as pets we see them as a part of the family, a companion, someone who we keep in high regard, this emotional attachment that we have to our pets is the result of a connection we have created with them. The same connection (to some degree) we would make for other people – family, friends and colleagues. This relation is placing human like characteristics and abilities on our animals. Described as Anthropomorphism – the attribution of human characteristics or behaviour to a god, animal, or object. For dogs, they react to our emotions, as do ours to them. We sympathize with what our pets go through because to us they are only a part of our life but we are the entirety of theirs. Our choice is to look after them, so we do.
Unlike the relationship of having a pet there are animals that we use for food. We breed them on farms so that we can keep up to the demand of consumption – chickens for eggs and meat for example. Long has there been videos showing that the condition where chickens have been raised for both laying eggs and for their meat are in horrible/uncomfortable conditions. Which can be seen in the video below.
By what standard should we give chickens the freedom to live a healthy life. While we describe human characteristics for our pets we change the emotional connection to one of well-being and disgust. The connection we have for animals is the driving force behind the fight for animal rights. Though, that is conflicted when it comes to human survival as there is an obvious hierarchy of who needs to be looked after first. People have to eat, people eat chicken, there is a large demand for chicken so farmers need to increase demand. Chicken farms need to increase their supplies to meet those demands. Prices for the meat fluctuates based on that supply. Does that money go back into the farms to care for the chickens or does it go back into the farmers pockets for other purposes? Their livelihood is their farm, which is their chickens so it can be perceived it would be beneficial that it would go back into the farm.
When we give animals the voice of humanity you turn the intention of what the animal represents. A dog is no longer just a pet; a pig is no longer just bacon and a chicken is no longer just an egg laying machine. Giving the voiceless a voice, determining that there are specifics in the way these animals needs to be treated and cared for needs to be understood. We look at the problems that are around us, such as the overcrowded breeding farms and say “this is wrong”, but our solutions are not a guaranteed fix nor are the implementations of those solutions continually looks after. Much like the standard for free range eggs, there are standards that need to be followed to meet the “free range” label though many farms are not adhering to those rules.