Minh A.

Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic
Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.

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PlanetDebate.com  /  Lincoln-­‐Douglas.com   Minh A. Luong & Company Tutorial: September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved:  Justice  requires  the  recognition  of  animal  rights.   Dr. Minh A. Luong Author/Editor
International Security Studies and The Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy and Ivy Scholars Program Yale University New Haven, Connecticut USA

Department of Political Science and Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions and Watson Institute for International Affairs Brown University Providence, Rhode Island

N.B.: The views expressed in this essay and other open-source work are those of the author/editor and his research staff and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Yale University, Brown University, the U.S. Government, nor the United Nations (with which the author maintains advisory relationships in the case of the latter two).

© 2011 Minh A. Luong and Harvard Debate, Inc., All Rights Reserved

Minh A. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic
Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.

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Selected  Quotations  
As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together. --Isaac Bashevis Singer There are many ways human beings can be guilty of mistreating animals. Perhaps even the law should make some provisions to ensure that wanton torture and mistreatment of animals are minimized. But this is not because animals have rights, which they cannot have given their nature as instinctually driven beasts instead of moral agents. Talking, therefore, about animal rights is a confusion and misguides our thinking about our proper relationship with the rest of the animal world. -- Tibor Machan, Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?" --Jeremy Bentham English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer I've always felt that animals are the purest spirits in the world. They don't fake or hide their feelings, and they are the most loyal creatures on Earth. And somehow we humans think we're smarter—what a joke. - P!nk Contemporary singer and entertainer The life of an ant and that of my child should be granted equal consideration. --Michael W. Fox, Scientific Director and former Vice President, The Humane Society of the United States, The Inhumane Society, New York, 1990 The basis of all animal rights should be the Golden Rule: we should treat them as we would wish them to treat us, were any other species in our dominant position. --Christine Stevens Together, eco-terrorists and animal rights extremists are one of the most serious domestic terrorism threats in the U.S. today. --Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Putting Intel to Work Against ELF and ALF Terrorists, 30 June 2008 In an earlier stage of our development most human groups held to a tribal ethic. Members of the tribe were protected, but people of other tribes could be robbed or killed as one pleased. Gradually the circle of protection expanded, but as recently as 150 years ago we did not include blacks. So African human beings could be captured, shipped to America and sold. In Australia white settlers regarded Aborigines as a pest and hunted them down, much as kangaroos are hunted down today. Just as we have progressed beyond the blatantly racist ethic of the era of slavery and colonialism, so we must now progress beyond the speciesist ethic of the era of factory farming, of the use of animals as mere research tools, of whaling, seal hunting, kangaroo slaughter and the destruction of wilderness. We must take the final step in expanding the circle of ethics. --Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University If the apes survive, it will be because we decide (spurred on by Jane Goodall) to save their habitats. And the same will be true, in time, of virtually all the larger animals. And if domestic animals are bred and cared for, it is because we have an interest in their products. In all our dealings with the animals, the inherent mastership of the human race displays itself. And this only goes to show that we alone have the duty to look after the animals, because we alone have duties. The corollary is inescapable: we alone have rights. -- Roger Scrunton, Scholar, Institute for the Psychological Sciences (VA), Oxford University (UK) and University of St. Andrews (UK)


Minh A. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic
Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.

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In  This  Topic  Briefing…   Cover page Selected quotations In This Topic Briefing (aka the Table of Contents) A Note from the Editor Topic in Context Strategy Notes Affirmative Negative Definitional Concepts and Definitions Positions and Argument Starters Affirmative Negative Sources Selected Evidence on the Topic About the Author/Editor and Analytic Research Team Leaders 34 36 38 43 – 75 76 15 23 29 1 2 3 4 5


many thanks to our focus group panelists for their feedback and suggestions on prospective argument strategies. My professorial colleagues at both Yale and Brown universities provided important insights and contributions. philosophy.luong@yale. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. I am also indebted to three subject matter experts – veteran advocates in the animal rights debate and a critic of the animal rights movement at a leading think tank – for their invaluable feedback. his knowledge on this topic along with cutting-edge insights has added a unique dimension that we hope will give you and your squad a significant competitive advantage when debating this topic. Minh A. This is due to our desire to adequately capture the context and nuance of each author’s argument. my colleagues and I have focused on presenting material that is generally not available to high school debaters. With best wishes for success as we start the 2011-12 debate season. political science and other academic and public policy sources as well as focusing on author qualifications which we believe will be especially important when debating this topic. researchers. My email address is minh. This topic evokes strong emotions and passions on both sides of the topic and through our extensive research. Luong Author/Editor 4 . and greatly value your confidence in our project by using our materials to help your program prepare for each National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas debate topic. As a result. If you have any suggestions.com/Lincoln-Douglas. this topic tutorial is nearly twice as long as our target length of 40 pages due to the complexity of the topic and our desire to best prepare you for this topic. I am particularly indebted to my longtime friend and colleague. Every PlanetDebate Lincoln-Douglas debate topic briefing is the collective product of a number of scholars. and individuals from typical judge demographic pools who evaluate potential arguments and their effectiveness. hence the “& Company” part of the series name.com subscriber and we hope that our unique blend of academic and policy practitioner approaches will give you a distinct advantage in your debate rounds. PlanetDebate.com. Rick Brundage. I invite your comments and feedback. And finally. questions or concerns. We have also chosen to continue to integrate extensive quotations from the leading scholars themselves directly into the topic analysis with the intent of providing direct illustrations with the least amount of interpretation to promote clearer and deeper understanding of the topic. it takes the combined contributions of between 15 to 20 people to produce each topic tutorial. As a former national champion debater and coach and now emerging scholar on American political development and political theory. You may notice that the quotation section for this tutorial is particularly robust and each quotation is longer than usual. In fact. We have focused on the bioethics. doctoral candidate in the political science department at Brown University for his significant contributions to this tutorial. This topic briefing would not be possible were it not for the many conversations with and contributions from a wide range of scholars and advocates on both sides of this question. My colleagues and I thank you for being a PlanetDebate. nationally recognized coach and Yale Ivy Scholars Program senior instructor. continues to play a key role on our research and analytic team here at PlanetDebate. and suggestions. insights. legal.com 4 A  Note  from  the  Editor   The Lincoln-Douglas debate topic for September-October 2011 is Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Even though my name appears at the top of each briefing packet.a. As always. Nick Coburn-Palo. please feel free to contact me.edu.Minh A. one of the most difficult tasks in producing each topic briefing packet is to edit the material down to our target of 40 pages! Due to the difficulty in finding high quality open-source research material on the internet pertaining to this topic. topicengaged professionals. we have found very few academics and public intellectuals outside those who are self-identified advocates for their respective side of the issue who have taken a moderate “middle ground” position on this topic.

Rights and Reason in Plutarch and Modern Ethics. The salience of the animal rights question. those scientists whose work entails the systematic study of animal behavioral patterns. rights were traditionally and all but universally recognized as attributable to humans alone. we humans ought to extend to them also at least some of the rights we extend to ourselves. as Professor James B. Animals. 4] This debate touches on a fundamental question(s) in philosophy: What is it to be human and what significance ought one attach to such a designation? In the context of animal rights. Stephen. visit URL: http://www. The relevance of debating environmental issues would be difficult to question. p. there is no “e” between the “m” and the “y”) publications. of the Philosophy Department at Seattle University explained: “Until recently. more so than with most issues. might not be as obvious at first glance. Though still perhaps a minority position. increasingly contemporary life scientists and philosophers argue that the planet upon which we live belongs no more properly to us humans than it does to the animals. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Duquesne University Professor Stephen Newmyer 1 explains its significance as follows: “It will be obvious to anyone who pays attention to the media that issues relating to the treatment of animals by human beings constituted the subject of one of the central intellectual debates of the closing years of the twentieth century that shows no sign of abating in the twenty-first.Minh A.cfm 5 . in the Western world. it is alleged. S.com 5 TOPIC  IN  CONTEXT   In selecting the topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights to begin the 2011-2012 Lincoln-Douglas debate season. 2006. others there are who are very vocal in contending that the 1 For a list of Professor Newmyer’s (and yes. on occasion. Reichmann. my colleagues and I believe the size of the necessary intellectual “chessboard” is well suited to Lincoln Douglas debate. and that those questions are currently the topic of lively debate. As a consequence.duq.” what those ‘rights’ might be. new winds are blowing.J. PlanetDebate. and we increasingly are hearing a call to extend rights to the nonhuman animal and even. have far-reaching implications for the lives of all persons.” [Newmyer. to be aware that the questions of whether animals possess “rights. New York: Routledge. One does not need to consult the sophisticated and abstractly argued treatises of ethical philosophers and ethologists. however.edu/classics/dr-stephen-newmyer. Today. and what impact such rights possession might have upon human behavior. to the environment as well. While the academic debate is complex. the coaches of the National Forensic League have chosen a resolution with an exceptionally strong literature base and a robust core of topic specific arguments and connections to broader philosophical and public policy debates. this maps well onto the issue of biocentrism.

Frey. often at great cost both to the nonhuman animal and to the environment. Much of the animal ethics literature comes close to suggesting that they have mapped out the major views in this debate.gwu.Minh A. 2] Because so many of the best resources on this topic are available only to university students and professors. a rising antipathy to a view. In order to focus most effectively. animals’ interests count equally in maximizing the good. see URL: http://departments. [DeGrazia. and Tom Regan. p. see URL: http://en. and understanding that most high school students lack access to these resources. For the utilitarians. all of which compete for their share in this planet’s coveted by increasingly limited resources.wikipedia. p. This view is often stigmatized as anthropocentric. in short. often characterized as elitist. among the most significant of whom was Henry Stephens Salt. which accords a privileged status to humans.’ ‘the rights view. 6-7] However.’ & the Environment.’ and no other…One of the most remarkable facts about the first generation is that they all agree upon the basic idea of extending equal consideration to animals. Classical thought will be explored in the context of Frey.org/wiki/Henry_Stephens_Salt 6 . and Regan have made important contributions. However. David. Washington D. 3 He has been recognized by both Singer and Regan as making many of the same arguments they did. this section will focus on the three most influential contemporary authors on the topic: Peter Singer. Second generation Animal Rights thought will be explored in the Argument Starter sections. this briefing will endeavor to expose students to sections of text from the top books and articles in the area of animal rights. Cambridge (U.G.columbian.edu/philosophy/people/130 3 For a brief biography of Henry Stephens Salt.K. R.com 6 environment itself is to be viewed as a subject of rights.C. many environmentalist ethicists opt for a position they denominate as biocentrist. it is not unusual for an article or anthology to represent ‘the utilitarian view. Frey. as well as within the evidence set. There is. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. James.” [Reichmann.): Cambridge University Press. animals’ interests are somewhat more rigorously protected by rights. PlanetDebate. it would be an injustice to overlook the importance of the British animal rights campaigners of over 100 years ago. Their importance is explained by George Washington University Professor of Philosophy David DeGrazia: 2 “Singer. 1996. humans are to accept their place as merely one among many other life forms inhabiting planet earth. 2000. As a corrective measure. far ahead of their times. this is not to imply that these three authors constitute the entirely of the debate. Consider what Salt wrote back in 1912: 2 For a list of Professor DeGrazia’s work and his CV. Taking Animals Seriously: Mental Life and Moral Status.: Catholic University Press. Evolution. According to this view. For Regan. Animal ‘Rights.

he first gained international prominence from his full-throated defense of the welfare of animals. Englewood Cliffs. 177-78] Having briefly considered the British influence on the contemporary animal rights movement. we are daily confronted with the problem…animals have rights. whether it be man or animal. as he clarifies his demand… “It is an entire mistake to suppose that the rights of animals are in any way antagonistic to the rights of men.” [From Henry Salt’s “Animals’ Rights. the emerging inquiry into cosmopolitan ethics. or cant.). Tom and Peter Singer (ed. There is nothing quixotic or visionary in this assertion…if we must kill. 4 Professor Singer’s website at Princeton University is at URL: http://www. a demand for freedom to live their own lives. p. Tom and Peter Singer (ed. let us do what is inevitable. However. subject to the necessity of respecting the equal freedom of other people. or evasion. republished in the following anthology: Regan. 1976.princeton.com 7 “Have lower animals ‘rights’? Undoubtedly – if men have…If men have not ‘rights’ – well they have an unmistakable intimation of something very similar.). DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University. But (here is the cardinal point) let us first be assured that it is necessary.Minh A. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. 1976. 173] The nuance in Salt’s argument is useful to consider even now. let us not wantonly trade on the needless miseries of other beings. and even from a legislative point of view. which permits of the individual development – subject to the limitations imposed by the permanent needs and interests of the community. in recent years.” written in 1912. NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc. and leave the animal question to solve itself hereafter…it is too late in the day to suggest the indefinite postponement of a consideration of animals’ rights. NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc. without hypocrisy. 4 the Ira W. let us kill and have done with it. for from a moral point of view. Englewood Cliffs. Animal Rights and Human Obligations. has gained prominence in the world of philosophy in a variety of sub-fields including. and these rights consist in the ‘restricted freedom’ to live a natural life – a life. Let us not be betrayed for a moment into the specious fallacy that we must study human rights first.” [From Henry Salt’s “Animals’ Rights. that is. Animal Rights and Human Obligations.edu/~psinger/ 7 . if we must inflict pain. a sense of justice which marks the boundary-line where acquiescence ceases and resistance begins. PlanetDebate. and then attempt to lull our consciences by a series of shuffling excuses which cannot endure a moment’s candid investigation. we will now consider three leading authors who exemplify the most prominent intellectual positions in the animal rights debate. republished in the following anthology: Regan. p.” written in 1912. Peter  Albert  David  Singer   Australian ethicist Peter Singer.

PlanetDebate. sexism. physiological. p. 2-3] It is his emphasis on suffering which sets Singer’s work apart. Nonsentient beings have no interests. 8 . their suffering has the same moral weight or importance. Singer argues on the basis of behavioral. New York: Routledge. Newmyer. Noting that leading ethical theories assume some principle of equal consideration of interests. However.com 8 Considered the progenitor of the “speciesism” argument. and evolutionary evidence that many animals (at least vertebrates) have interests – at the very least an interest in not suffering. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Indeed.): Cambridge University Press. Stephen. He gives particularly detailed attention to factory farming and the use of animals in biomedical research. as Professor Stephen T. there is nothing morally to protect. Including animals does not entail precisely equal treatment. In this work. he identifies sentience. as well an innovator on suffering-based arguments. Taking Animals Seriously: Mental Life and Moral Status.” [DeGrazia. George Washington University Professor David DeGrazia explains the primary argument of Peter Singer’s iconic work on animal ethics as follows… “More than any other work. Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation brought questions about the moral status of animals into intellectual respectability. Singer offers a non-rights based defense of animals. as the admission ticket to the moral arena. Cambridge (U. all sentient beings have interests and therefore moral status. 1996. p. Among the most strident lines of criticism have been related to his comparison of “speciesism” to racism.Minh A. the capacity to suffer. David. Singer employs this simple thesis in a scathing critique of common uses of animals for human purposes. he maintains that their suffering may be the more intense because they understand it less. explains that… “While humans may have superior memories and more detailed knowledge of what is happening to them.K. Dogs have no interest in learning to read and write. which many have argued is inappropriate. inaccurate. 2006. Singer feels that there is no reason to conclude that animals experience pain to a lesser degree than do humans. and offensive. it does mean that if a human and a rat suffer equally in duration and intensity. On the other hand. and where there are no interests. so equal consideration does not require providing them an education even if we hold that humans are entitled to an education. Rights and Reason in Plutarch and Modern Ethics. calling for the abolition of the former and the near-abolition of the latter. However. and the Holocaust. Animals. Singer argues that there is no coherent reason to exclude (sentient) animals’ interests from the scope of equal consideration.” [Newmyer. Indeed. The suffering of animals has for Singer the same moral weight as does that of humans. 49] Singer’s theories have drawn both great praise and criticism. Professor of Classics at Duquesne University.

objecting to the Holocaust comparison by itself will not vindicate the case for anti-animal-liberation.edu/facguide/person.com 9 supporters of Singer have offered a robust defense of the comparisons.brandeis. cannot successfully be impugned by alleging that it glosses over particular differences. as Dr. and may help to underline the gravity of our oppression of nonhuman animals. is insulting.” [Sztybel. Has he succeeded? Only if he is allowed to pick and choose arbitrarily from its full panoply. it would be viciously circular to assume that animal liberation is mistaken from the start. in terms of the current LD debate topic. it is potentially useful and illuminating. David Sztybel. 11:1. p. Far from the comparison being intrinsically objectionable. but neither could there be what animal liberationists refer to as speciesism. However. Darwinism has historically been an unreliable guide in ethical matters. 2006. to the extent that it can be illuminated. I conclude that if all other objections against animal liberation fail. Once invested in the theory. 5 research fellow at the University of Vienna and former fellow at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. rather than the language of rights embraced by the resolution. Singer is undaunted in his attempt to extrapolate a benign morality from evolutionary theory. Darwin and his advocate Thomas Huxley cautioned against conflating evolution and ethics…In any case. If there were no such thing as discriminatory oppression. see URL: http://en.Minh A. we can’t 5 6 For an expanded summary of Professor Sztybel’s position.” Certainly. in which the Struggle for Existence and the Survival of the Fittest become models for economic life. there never would have been a Holocaust. The reason for his diminished importance is that he is considered to couch his arguments in terms of Darwinism and Utility. PlanetDebate. David. and which in turn is supposed to prove that animal liberation is wrong. demonstrates: “The comparison in general. “Can the Treatment of Animals be Compared to the Holocaust?” Ethics and the Environment. trivializing.wikipedia. This opens his arguments to lines of criticism which might not necessarily apply to rights-based defenses of animal welfare. Consider its pernicious consequences in Social Darwinism. or put forward by those who are “Nazi-like. which makes the comparison offensive.org/wiki/David_Sztybel Professor Goodheart’s bio page at Brandeis University is at URL: http://www. I submit the possibility that some people are deeply offended by the comparison because they are profoundly prejudiced against animals and in favor of human beings. Some of the potential pitfalls are explained by Professor Emeritus of English at Brandeis University Eugene Goodheart: 6 “Singer presents himself as a Darwinian. 130] Singer’s importance to modern animal rights movement cannot be overestimated. and intolerant of those who hold opinions that are reflective of animal liberationist tendencies.html?emplid=8f9c3f620d81033c17c39c83e01330a940738a55 9 . Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. he is less important than one might at first expect.

p. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. regarding humans which are not present among (other) animals. 2) Only humans possess language. Bernard. Bernard E. 2006.html 10 . They kill animals for food. it is best to consider the tradition upon which it is constructed. This claim that only humans are rational has traditionally been linked to another criterion used to distinguish people from animals. Rollin. and even in the Catholic tradition. If Darwinism is the basis for rethinking ethics.  Frey   University of Liverpool Professor R. Animal Rights & Human Morality. Buffalo. 3) Only humans are objects of moral concern. Frey is considered a strong advocate of the classical arguments in favor of the existence of obligations. the claim that only humans possess language or the ability to use what are called ‘conventional signs’…. the notion of the soul providing the basis for excluding animals from moral concern has been given philosophical content by equating the soul with the rational faculty or the ability to reason.G. rights even. while animals do not. language. then we will need to incorporate Natural Selection and The Survival of the Fittest in conceiving or re-conceiving an ethical system. 1992.com 10 simply ignore what works against our personal desires.” [Rollin. experiment in the laboratory with animals so that cures can be found for human diseases. and moral status may very briefly be schematized as follows: 1) Only humans are rational. PlanetDebate. In order to understand his argument.colostate. p. Eugene. The discrimination on the basis of species is natural according to the Darwinian dispensation.” Philosophy and Literature. or at least have the capacity for rational thought. 7 as follows: “At least since Plato and Aristotle.G. and for this reason.edu/dept/Philosophy/RollinB. The long-standing position of many classic scholars is explained by the Professor of Philosophy and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. NY: Prometheus Books. 242-43] R. Humans are rational. the scope of morality does not extend beyond humans.Minh A. “Peter Singer’s Challenge. The very fact that human beings are essentially animals (and not angels) means that they too struggle for existence. 30:1.The position linking rationality. resist or trim predatory herds to protect their domestic animals.” [Goodheart. 33] 7 Professor Rollin’s webpage at Colorado State University is at URL: http://www.

co. 39-40] Michael Paul Tutton Leahy was a conservative British philosopher who. argued that the notion of animal rights was absurd which triggered threats against him from animal rights activists. animals are tied to stimulus and response reactions. We bring rationality. only humans are rational. 78-80] Building upon the concept earlier articulated by Aristotle. Bernard Rollin.html 8 11 .uk/news/obituaries/1553905/Michael-Leahy. explains: “Kant proceeds by stressing the human ability to arrive at what philosophers call a priori knowledge.” [Leahy.’ Deliberation is not within the power of animals…’there can be no friendship or justice towards inanimate things. The Sunday Times (UK) at URL: http://www. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. P.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article1890104. Professor of Philosophy and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. not tied to specific times and places. and not even towards a horse or an ox…Plants exist to give subsistence to animals. what one might call “normative” or “abstract” judgment is a trait which sets humans apart from animals. These include The Telegraph (UK) at URL: http://www. and formulate statements that are universal in scope.independent. As Aristotle puts it. This is because.telegraph.Minh A.com 11 For Aristotle. Bernard.uk/news/obituaries/michael-leahy-450821. London: Routledge. 1992. in the form of thinking and understanding. apprehend. understand. Again.timesonline. p. ‘An object of choice is something within our power at which we aim after deliberation. Animal Rights & Human Morality. PlanetDebate. Buffalo. Kant honed his notion of a priori thought around a human/animal binary. and animals to give it to men’. This for Kant is the essential meaning of rationality.ece. and only the possession of a priori knowledge can allow a being to go beyond the particular circumstances one finds in sense experience of the world and assert judgments that claim universality.co. to bear upon the psychic faculties we share with plants and the lower animals…But rationality brings with it language and the possibility of being correct and incorrect…It is purposive choice (prohairesis) of which animals are capable.” [Rollin. 1991. that is. NY: Prometheus Books. Michael. knowledge that cannot be shown to be false by experience and can be known to be true simply by thought…The important point for our purposes is Kant’s claim that only human beings can possess a priori knowledge. His obituaries from 2007 highlight his life and arguments against animal rights.co.html. according to Kant. Since only humans can entertain. and The Independent (UK) at URL: http://www. University of Kent scholar and critic of animal rights arguements Michael Leahy8 explained Aristotle’s argument as follows… “The implications of Aristotle’s account of animal experience is best brought out by contrast with that of human beings. Against Liberation: Putting Animals in Perspective. in his book Against Liberation (1991).

memory. the ethical theory that states that the right action is that which maximizes good consequences.G.lib. but desires also involve propositional content.): Cambridge University Press.” [Pojman. it follows that animals don't have rights. p. Frey argues in this early work that animals have no interests (and therefore cannot be harmed). perception. they also lack a utilitarian based claim to rights.edu/exhibits/regan/ and his website devoted to resources on animal rights at URL: http://www. R. 1993. Louis. 7:2. p. Unlike Singer. visit these two websites: http://www. and this is something that animals don't possess.htm For more information on Professor Regan. David. including their own future. beliefs.com/index. according to Frey. To reach this conclusion.com 12 Frey makes his contribution to the argument by articulating these classic arguments within a utilitarian context. Louis Pojman’s website is at URL: http://www. His Interest and Rights is philosophically more in-depth than most works in animal ethics. to own a book) without a corresponding belief…Because animals lack language. they lack the beliefs requisite for desires and therefore lack desires.ncsu.Minh A. he begins by contending that all morally relevant interests are based on desires. 1996. Since only beings with interests can have rights. but there is no evidence that animals can do this. “Do Animal Rights Entail Moral Nihilism?” Public Affairs Quarterly. In order to have interests. Lacking interests. 168] Tom  Regan   For North Carolina State University Philosophy Professor Tom Regan. He explains the concept as follows: “Individuals are subjects-of-life if they have beliefs and desires. animals have no interests. Professor David DeGrazia explains as follows… “Like Singer. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. one must be able to have desires. Professor Louis Pojman 9 clarifies Frey’s position: “Frey argues that rights are predicated upon beliefs and interests. Taking Animals Seriously: Mental Life and Moral Status.edu/animalrights/ 10 9 12 . Frey embraces utilitarianism. and a sense of the future. In order to have a belief one must be able to conceptualize and entertain a proposition or sentence. and since animals fail to have these. Thus. one which calculates utility in a substantially different way than does Singer.lib.louispojman. Cambridge (U. 10 something called subject-of-life status is of great importance in evaluation moral obligations and resulting rights claims. PlanetDebate. 3-4] Since animals lack significant moral status. animals have no significant moral status. an emotional life together with feelings Dr.ncsu.” [DeGrazia.K. Then he argues that one cannot have a desire (say. they fail to possess rights.

markrowlandsauthor. 243.com/ 12 Professor Palmer’s website is at URL: http://philosophy. being the subject-of-a-life bestows on an individual the distinctive sort of value which consists in having an experiential welfare.” 11 Professor Rolands maintains a blog at URL: http://rowlands. a psychophysical identity over time. a right to not be harmed by others. that there is no responsibility to intervene in predation (since predators are not moral agents and so cannot threaten anyone’s rights nor commit any injustice). The unacquired right to respectful treatment and the right not to be harmed can be claimed by or on behalf of all subjects-ofa-life. we have a prima facie duty not to harm those individuals who are subjects-of-a-life. Tom. there are no duties to intervene when animals are threatened by beings and things that are not moral agents. London: Palgrave MacMillan. according to Regan. Therefore. Regan also claims that there is a duty to assist when others treat animals in ways that violate their rights.” [Rowlands. be overridden. London: Routledge Publishing. Animal Rights: Moral Theory and Practice. The qualification prima facie signifies that the duty can. p. And we detract from the welfare of this type individual when we harm them…According to Regan. 1988. we fail to treat individuals in ways that respect their value when we treat them in ways that detract from their welfare. Regan is not completely clear about what claims animals have on the basis of these rights.philospot. at least prima facie. Mark. The Case for Animal Rights. for only moral agents can threaten lives…Only (some) humans are moral agents. PlanetDebate. But this duty can only arise when the threat to an animal is from a moral agent.tamu.html 13 . preference and welfare-interests.] The claim of subject-of-life status carries with it. 68] In addition to a duty to not harm animals.” [Regan. University of Miami Professor of Philosophy Mark Rowlands 11 clarifies: “That is. This means. but moral agents certainly have negative duties not to harm or kill animals. logically independently of their being the object of anyone else’s interests. in Regan’s account. therefore. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.edu/People/Faculty/Palmer/index. The limits of that obligation are explained by Professor Clare Palmer of the Philosophy Department at Texas A&M University: 12 “Two principles follow from Regan’s argument that all subjects-of-a-life have inherent value: a principle of respect and a harm principle.com/ and a personal website at URL: http://www. 2009. the ability to initiate action in pursuit of their desires and goals. humans also face a limited positive obligation to come to the defense of animals. and an individual welfare in the sense that their experiential life fares well or ill for them. p.Minh A. in certain circumstances.com 13 of pleasure and pain. for example. Consequently.

PlanetDebate. in fact. For example.” [Regan. Summer 2000. and it will remain the task of the nonvegetarian to show that what is true in these cases. Englewood Cliffs. He has argued that humans alone have the ability and capability to take on duties and responsibilities and along with that. 2010. and the grounds on which we might rest such a justification would…[be] (1) that such a practice would prevent.roger-scruton. But to say that this is (or may be) true of some cases is not to say that it is true of all. perhaps. Animal Rights and Human Obligations. realistically speaking. 203-04] The critics of animal rights. there are some cases in which these conditions are satisfied. 1976. fewer in number but no less shrill in their advocacy. Clare. reduce.B.html 14 . perhaps.: italics added by PD editor) Regan does allow for animals to be harmed.Minh A. or eliminate a much greater amount of evil. obtain. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. p. One of the most prominent critics of the animal rights movement is the conservative British scholar Roger Scrunton 13 who has written extensively against animal rights and the arguments advanced by pro-animal rights advocates such as Peter Singer. is also true of any practice that involves killing animals which. not on the shoulders of those who are vegetarians. an animal had to be killed…That is not to say that practices that involve taking the lives of animals cannot possible be justified.city-journal. he supports. albeit in very limited situations. perhaps they are satisfied in the case of the Eskimo’s killing of animals and the case of having a restricted hunting season for such animals as deer. In some cases. New York: Columbia University Press. NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc. “humans alone have rights. Now. by his action. “Animal Rights.com 14 [Palmer. have focused their responses along several lines of reasoning which have been briefly discussed above and will be further amplified in the Strategy Notes section for the negative side of the resolution.com/ Roger Scruton. and (3) that we have very good reason to believe that these consequences will. the can be. 35] (N. The narrow contours of those limits are clarified in the following statement from Regan: “…the onus of justification lies. but on the shoulders of those who are not…it is the nonvegetarian who must show us how he can be justified in eating meat. including the evil that attaches to the taking of the life of a being who has as much claim as any other to an equal natural right to life. Animal Ethics in Context. At URL: http://www.org/html/10_3_urbanities-animal. p. Tom. there is no other way to bring about these consequences.” City Jourrnal. (2) that.” 14 13 14 Professor Scrunton’s personal website is at URL: http://www. when he knows that. assuming that it is true. in order to do so.

290 million turkeys. almost 4 million sheep and lambs. snared. starved. subjected to removal of limbs and eyes. including approximately 17 million cows and calves. we kill more billion animals a year for food. or almost 16. and education…Animals are burned. Moral Revulsion: The Suffering is Fundamentally Intolerable It is safe to say that the strongest argument in favor of granting greater protection to animals is the jaw-dropping scale of damage inflicted by humans upon animals in the name of human survival and prosperity. but we treat them in ways that belie our claims. puts it in perspective: “We subject billions of animals annually to enormous amounts of pain. Every day. 15 Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. We kill billions of fish and other sea animals annually. or raised in intense confinement on fur farms. We buy lobsters at the supermarket.9 billion chickens. given electric shocks and diseases (such as cancer) and infections (such as pneumonia). we may be said to suffer from a sort of ‘moral schizophrenia’ when it comes to our thinking about animals. PlanetDebate. blinded. forced to withdraw from drug addiction. and caged for the duration of their lives…And we kill millions of animals annually simply for fashion. and 22 million ducks. we slaughter approximately 23 million animals. where they are electrocuted or gassed or have their necks broken…In short. where they are kept for weeks in crowded tanks with their claws closed by rubber bands and without receiving any food. product testing.000 per minute.Minh A. Approximately 40 million animals worldwide are trapped. mutilated in various ways without pain relief. Professor Gary Francione.newark. or over 950.S. we use millions of animals annually for biodmedical experiments. poisoned.rutgers. suffering. According to the U. noise. 102 million hogs. or over 260 every second. transported long distances in cramped. and distress. This is to say nothing of the billions more killed worldwide. We catch them with hooks and allow them to surface in nets. deprived of sleep. addicted to drugs.” 15 Professor Francione’s website is at URL: http://law. kept in solitary confinement. irradiated. and we cook them alive in boiling water…In the United States alone.000 horses per year.com 15 TOPIC  BRIEFING  AND  STRATEGY  NOTES   Affirmative  Strategy  Notes   1. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. We slaughter more than 100. 7.edu/our-faculty/faculty-profiles/gary-l-francione 15 . and squalor of the abattoir. filthy containers. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy at Rutgers School of Law-Newark. We claim to regard animals as having morally significant interests. and finally slaughtered amid the stench. These animals are raised under horrendous conditions.000 per hour. Department of Agriculture.

this emphasis attributes 'reason' to human beings as a species. I am not arguing.). I am not thinking only of people with brain damage. Fundamentally. I feel that the emphasis placed upon 'reason' as a uniquely human attribute is actually not very plausible. is that unless we view the deliberate infliction of needless pain as inherently wrong we will not be able to understand the moral objection to cruelty of either kind. whereas it is empirically evident that many individuals who are certainly human from a genetic point of view are partly or totally lacking in it. advocates of animal rights tend to believe that reason (as opposed to sentience or suffering) is a poor standard for assessing moral worth. Gary. The Animal Rights/Environmental Ethics Debate: The Environmental Perspective. the work of anthropologists and zoologists in recent years has demonstrated that it is no longer possible to deny the existence of forms of thought. p. (Without meaning to be simply ironic. 190] Arguments of academics from Aristotle to Frey are unpersuasive to this perspective. What passes for 'reason' often turns out. “The Rights of the Nonhuman World. and that people greatly prefer to avoid pain – as do animals. The essential reason for regarding torture as wrong is that it hurts.com 16 [Francione. rather. laws and agreements against torture. PA: Temple University Press. Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? Philadelphia. Eugene (ed. After first 16 . xx-xxi] Tolerance and celebration of such often unnecessary suffering is reflective and constitutive of multiple levels of human cruelty. p. a position which consequentialists often endorse. for example. and enforce. Italian Law and Sociology Professor Valerio Pocar explains: “Like many other theorists. PlanetDebate. as does Kant. The point. Such legalistic or contractualistic reasons leave us in the dark as to why we ought to have. is not wrong merely because it is illegal (where it is illegal). and even the capacity for cultural transmission. Albany. for at least two reasons. as the late Professor Mary Anne Warren of San Francisco State University explains: “Torturing human beings. NY: State University of New York Press. that cruelty to animals is wrong because it causes cruelty to human beings.) Secondly. [Warren.” From anthology by Hargrove. or merely because it violates some implicit agreement amongst human beings (though it may). to be nothing more than the habits of thought favoured by culturally dominant groups. 2000. First. on closer examination.Minh A. as witness the ease with which is proved possible to deny any 'reason' to women and to Africans sold as slaves. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. in many other living species. Mary Anne. The obsessive enthusiasm shown by dominant groups for measuring the intellectual capabilities of those whom they control ought to stand as a warning against the uncritical acceptance of 'reason' as either a meaningful concept or as a marker for making discriminatory evaluations between animals and humans. 1992.

).” [Pocar. they are necessary until people develop the desire to act on their moral impulses. and their place alongside human beings. without any proof. PlanetDebate. in keeping with the famous principle of communism. that other living species may possess some ability to reason. It is to recognize with the heart and with the head that human and animal are made of the same stuff and that moral obligation arise for this…But there is a point beyond compassion to which the argument seems irresistibly to lead. “Animal Rights: A Socio-Legal Perspective. This makes them an appropriate mechanism for emancipation. The day may come when people will spontaneously respect others' needs as opportunity allows. Moral Optimism: Rights Cement an Important. But that day has not yet come. and to guarantee that those who have the ability to see to others' needs will do so. 19:2. and not need to be made to confront others' rights to have their needs met. is to recognize that they belong here as of right.” [Brett. p. rights need not be egoistic. rights uniquely access an internal link into justice. as Professor Sztybel explains: “However. “Compassion or Justice: What is Our Minimum Ethical Obligation to Animals?” in Linzey. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.Minh A. 1997.” Ethics and the Environment. to feel with – not just for – other creatures. Urbana (IL): University of Illinois Press. Valerio. Indeed. Obligation By tapping into compassion. 183] 17 . Yet Tenuous. David. To recognize the otherness of animals. 2:2. the proponents of 'reason' have had to fall back on distinctions of a qualitative and quantitative nature without knowing exactly (and maybe not even vaguely) what reason is among human beings. p. It is only with the attribution of rights to animals that a secure basis can be found on which to work out our detailed ethical obligation. p. 1992. Andrew and Dorothy Yamamoto (ed. no less than we do.” Journal of Law and Society. 235] Rights can be a tool for progressive change. It is to suffer. So rights remain a useful tool for the promotion of justice…” [Sztybel. as Paul Brett explained… “To have compassion is to recognize a continuity of existence with the other. Animals on the Agenda: Questions about Animals for Theology and Ethics. They can be used to protect needs. 1998. It is to begin to see our relationship with animals as a question of justice.com 17 having denied. 220] 2. “Marxism and Animal Rights. Paul.

is at URL: http://www. to conceive of animals as the bearers of rights ‘is to institutionalize their claim to moral concern. p. There is. Peter Singer concedes on behalf of utilitarians: ‘The language of rights is a convenient political shorthand.’” [Fellenz. PlanetDebate. couching one’s moral position in the language of rights can often be the most effective means of advocating it.” [Francione. Marc.’ Given the political power rights claims can wield. It is even more valuable in the era of thirtysecond TV news clips than it was in Bentham’s day. The Moral Menagerie: Philosophy and Animal Rights. 76] 16 The link to Professor Fellenz’s book. then the interests of that being will. as a practical matter. Gary. Urbana. The alternative to the rights view is to lapse back into the pre-nineteenth-century view that animals have no morally significant interests and that humans have no direct obligations to them. little realistic hope that such moral concerns alone will result in any significant improvement in animal care and treatment as long as animals remain economic commodities. however. PA: Temple University Press. If the life of a sentient being has value only as a means to human ends. The Moral Menagerie. have only instrumental value as well. 2007. For example. then a prohibition on imposing unnecessary suffering on those beings will be meaningless. as Professor Marc Fellenz 16 of Suffolk Community College notes: “As a purely practical matter. especially to a social context where moral discourse is usually ideologically and politically combative…Nonetheless.press.Minh A. IL: University of Illinois Press. even those who are otherwise unsympathetic to deontology may feel compelled to employ terms like rights because they are so expedient.html 18 . We could.com 18 The alternative to rights protection is no panacea. 2000. of course. or treat them better than we currently do. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. p. because that will make us kinder people or more caring people.uillinois. to recognize this status in a way that is writ large. but not because we have any direct obligations to animals.edu/books/catalog/39fpd3fw9780252031182. animals will continue to be treated merely as economic commodities. maintain that we ought to be ‘kind’ to animals. 163] The language of rights has a particular power in the public imagination which makes it important to utilize as a platform in any effective campaign for animal welfare. as Professor Francione laments: “If we can use animals for all sorts of purposes for which we would never use any human beings. It means moral concern will go unacted upon. Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? Philadelphia.

com 19 3. Smart Definitions: “Thin” Conceptions of Rights As mentioned earlier in this brief.' Similarly also. p. in order to evade the most damaging Negative arguments. He rejects reason out of hand as a criterion for according justice to animals. mammalian kin. 50-51] 19 . Negative Rights. without affecting the fact that the concept of suffering should be understood to have as extensive a meaning as possible and must therefore include all suffering that can be hypothesized (or. if they can feel). and must in any case be supported by a proportional justification. Clark discounts the long-standing emphasis on language as a prerequisite for moral considerability.’ He rejects likewise the Stoic demand for a human-animal contract as a prerequisite for according justice to animals.’” [Newmyer. also of other living beings. In the system of agreed values. once the rights that set a limit to the suffering that can justifiably be inflicted have been fixed. this suffering must be the least possible. that human beings should inflict suffering on other living beings. 1992. 228] Such a narrow defense can take the form of a baseline. An example of such a framing is offered from an article by Professor Pocar. Just such an argument is explained by Duquesne University Professor Stephen Newmyer: “Stephen R. preferring to see life as a household of differing species. Clark. 2006. the right of animals to the minimum of suffering may represent the minimum status of animal rights. how the Affirmative frames what it will defend as “animal rights” will have a huge strategic effect on the debate. remarking ‘I have attempted to put. “The case need not be argued differently when applied to the rights of animals (and. potentially. suspected) in the light of available knowledge. 19:2.Minh A. PlanetDebate. ‘Common sympathies and purposes.” [Pocar. One perspective would argue that the Affirmative should defend the narrowest/”thinnest” conception of animal rights possible. they may still have at least the ‘negative right’ not to be harmed. for example.” Journal of Law and Society. While it appears to be inevitable. Animals. p. including depriving them of their lives. Valerio.L. as I would prefer to say. the onus of proof is reversed. Stephen. suggests that even if animals cannot lay claim to ‘rights’ because of any intellectual endowments. because of the conflict of interests. and rebut. the thesis that only those creatures with whom we share a ‘community of reason’ should be counted as worthy of our concern. New York: Routledge. arguing. Similarly. “Animal Rights: A Socio-Legal Perspective. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. for example. mutual attractions and puzzlements are quite enough to provide a mutual sense of fair dealings at least with our most immediate. Rights and Reason in Plutarch and Modern Ethics.

Big Paradigms: Win a Framework and Use it Against Negative Arguments The strategic approach identified immediately prior to this was to take a narrow approach to ground (when on the Affirmative). etc. One interesting example is offered from the realm of law. Focusing on one’s own concern for liberation. and even selfish. trusts.html 20 . Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Animal Rights & Human Morality. p. This represents the opposite approach. It also 17 Professor Gaarder’s academic website is at URL: http://www.Minh A.umn. race. the points he makes are directly relevant to our problem…Stone argued that natural objects – streams.edu/~egaarder/Index. as Professor Emily Gaarder 17 of the University of Minnesota Duluth explained in her recent book: “I have argued that two competing frameworks exist within the animal rights movement. goal. race. intersecting web of inequality that encompasses gender. and nationstates…It is. voice. as have ships. NY: Prometheus Books. by Professor Christopher Stone.” [Rollin. as we have seen. This framework considers the participation of diverse groups of people within animal rights as an important aspect of the relational web. 126-27] 4. This framework focuses on animal liberation as its central. It suggests. as Professor Rollin explains: “A brilliant and accessible analysis of the logic of rights extension has been presented by Professor Christopher Stone in his book. Coalitions or support of those involved in other causes are welcomed if they contribute to the overall goal of animal rights. for instance. that patriarchal and racist though five rise to the same ideas that justify the devaluing of animals and the use of their bodies for instrumental means. The second framework names the oppression of animals as part of a broad. or class is considered divisive to the movement. Expressing ‘human’ concerns about gender. cities.com 20 Sometimes a narrow defense can take the form of a mechanism for protection of animal rights. essentially impossible to rationally deny that animals are direct objects of moral concern. forests. Should Trees Have Standing? Although Stone’s argument does not directly deal with animals. and environmental concerns. paradigmatic arguments (aka framework) in relation to the topic. Bernard. wilderness areas. PlanetDebate. might well tap into current frustration with corporate America. making deductive. so it is quite easy in this light to demand legal standing for them. 1992. or equality is unacceptable when animals suffer the greatest oppression of all. class. indeed its only. with guardians like the Sierra Club able to press claims on their behalf. Such paradigmatic questions are at the core of the animal rights literature base.d. the argument that only human persons can have such rights is easily trumped by the fact that corporations have enjoyed such legal standing since early in the nineteenth century. – should be granted legal standing. Buffalo. As Stone points out. The first names the oppression of animals as the most crucial social justice issue of our times.

p. 2011. NJ: Rutgers University Press. p. animals. The connection between the degradation of women and traditional views of animals existing for man’s use complicates any easy analogy between women’s liberation and animal liberation. If women’s subordination is in part justified by comparing them to animals. New Brunswick. such as animals and the environment. “As many feminists have argued. chick. beaver. Women and the Animal Rights Movement. Until we address the denigration of animals in Western 21 . Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. 5] The importance of gender in the oppression of animals – to the point of constituting a synergistic relationship – is underscored by Kelly Oliver. on which of these frameworks the movement culture adopts. In other words. although the Negative might be able to deploy it as well. ecofeminists generally believe there are important connections between the oppression of women and that of nonhuman life forms. Even today. on the one side—the civilized side—and animal. to a large extent.” [Gaarder. on the other—the natural or barbaric side— plays a central role in the oppositions between man and woman. Emily. civilized and barbaric. and speciesism. however. Societies that see nature as inferior to culture (most Western societies) devalue and oppress persons and groups identified with nature. Emily. and so on. kitten. then perhaps one reason why women’s liberation has continued to meet with resistance and continued to bump up against the “glass ceiling” is because of our attitudes toward animals and the deep patriarchal associations between women and animals. PlanetDebate. NJ: Rutgers University Press. the patriarchal association between women and animals is evidenced by the various names used to degrade women. and cow. there is more than an analogy among sexism. racism. The direction of the animal liberation movement hinges. white and black.Minh A. Women and the Animal Rights Movement. vixen . fox. New Brunswick. because all oppressions are interconnected…While there is no unified body of work or perspective that could be called ecofeminism.com 21 prioritizes campaigns and coalition building that reflects the common goals of other movements for social change. Professor Gaarder offers an initial definition of the concept as follows: “Ecofeminism argues that feminism must engage with the ethics of animals’ status and treatment. including pussy. the relation between the exploitation of animals and the exploitation of women and other oppressed groups is not just a matter of analogy. the conceptual opposition between man. Rather. 153-54] An example of a framework that the Affirmative might utilize on this topic.” [Gaarder. Ecofeminist thought outlines the conceptual links in patriarchal thought that identity women as closer to nature and men as closer to culture. bitch. These dualisms serve to justify the domination of women. 2011. and the earth. is Eco-Feminism. bunny.

we continue merely to scratch the surface of the denigration and exploitation of various groups of people. Just as social movements can influence ideas about gender in society. on the grounds that ‘sex sells’ in a patriarchal society. its activists are influenced by gendered expectations and experiences. Activists operate within a sexist society. p. “Gender is far more than a demographic characteristic of social movement activists. Women and the Animal Rights Movement.Minh A. PlanetDebate. Affirmative’s should be careful in deploying deductive/framework cases. New Brunswick. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. 2008. 22:3. from playboy bunnies to prisoners at Abu Ghraib who were treated like dogs as a matter of explicit military policy. NJ: Rutgers University Press. and their tactical choices and goals either accept or contest those constraints…Opponents of animal rights who respond to women with sexist rhetoric should be challenged on these grounds. Emily.com 22 thought. Kelly. so too can societal ideas about gender shape social movements. p. 152-53] 22 . 2011. Sexualized campaigns that use stereotypical images of women have been similarly defended. Yet this same patriarchal society is implicated in the values and practices of animal exploitation…The gender inequalities described in this book cannot be resolved unless the animal rights movement challenges the sexist devaluation of emotion and the sexual objectification of women that saturates our culture. as it is easy to run afoul of the internal standards of the school of thought in question. “What is Wrong with (Animal) Rights?” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy. instead of capitulated to by downplaying empathy or the role of women altogether in recognition of the ‘realities’ of sexism. on the conceptual level. as Professor Gaarder points out. if not also on the material economic level. Although this movement is focused on animals.” [Gaarder. 215] However.” [Oliver.

But.” [Reichmann. Those bringing a charge of ‘speciesism. it profits one nothing to deny this difference in kind. And if one existent differs in being from another. Regan has sought to revamp the definition of ‘right. if there are many kinds of beings. ‘species’ is not an accidental characteristic. 308] Of course.’ & the Environment. claiming that the argument suffers from an obvious fallacy: “The underlying fallacy is not hard to uncover. Yet race and gender are accidental or incidental characteristics that modify one’s humanity. is no more worthy of condemnation than is the individual who thinks that he or she plays the piano better than someone who does not play the piano at all. against those who regard humans as ontologically ‘superior’ clearly argue fallaciously.C.” 23 . Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. stable support for the above-mentioned near universal sentiment. It is not arrogant to bear witness to the truth. Washington D. Weak Foundation: Animals Don’t Deserve Rights James Reichmann lays out the fundamental claim. to humans. but a substantial determinant of the kind of the kind of being one is. the notion of rights makes sense only within a context of free agents who are responsible for their actions. provided one’s motive in doing so is to allow the truth to appear. Trading on the sympathy most humans display for various species of domesticated animals. For humans to regards themselves as superior to the nonhuman animal for reasons already alluded to. species is also. There are no other possibilities. they do not constitute one a human. The fallacy feeds on the false supposition that what race and gender are to the human. one does not need to attribute rights to animals directly in order to provide the latter with a shield that will morally safeguard them from maltreatment. James. p. as well as explaining why such a position against rights extension is not incompatible with protecting animals from maltreatment: “As stated earlier.’ then. and are hence based on an untruth. Some beings must simply be ontologically more than others in order to be different from them. 2000.: Catholic University Press.e.” However.Minh A. Reichmann is ready to answer such a charge.’ He extends this revised definition to animals in an effort to provide reasoned.com 23 Negative  Strategy  Notes   1. Animal ‘Rights. as we have indicated. and hence it must be limited to moral agents alone. On the other hand. Evolution. Singer and his allies would accuse Reichmann of “Speciesism. But what is considered ‘speciesism’ affirms inequality where equality does not exist. Hence. Racism and sexism deny equality of nature where equality of nature actually exists. PlanetDebate. then they must differ in an essential way. i. and the pervasive conviction that it is wrong to mistreat them.

bringing the misery of unemployment to employees and their families where alternative jobs are not available…Secondly. Evolution. which. Washington D. such as Regan.Minh A. Animal ‘Rights.” [Reichmann. Professor Michael Leahy takes an initial shot at imagining such a circumstance. would need to be colossal to offset the social and economic ills which might well follow. Humans likely needed every edge they could get in the battle for survival. concede the nutritional point. Frey in Rights.com 24 [Reichmann. p. 2000. according to Darwin. despite the best of intentions.: Catholic University Press. our social lives would need readjustment. Unacceptable Costs: The Obligations Created by Rights for Animals Would Result in a Disastrous Transition and Quality of Life Reduction Imagine a world in which animals had functional rights claims against humans. After all. “Such ethicians are. seemingly stipulate to the meaningful difference in status between humans and animals by virtue of the asymmetry of rights and obligations within their frameworks. a huge number of industries would be undermined. imposes upon them no obligations. while granting rights to animals. 264] Reichmann also points out that rights advocates. Whatever weight this would add to the utilitarian scales. Even if we could somehow go back in time and start anew with such an assumption. although hinting strongly at overkill. PlanetDebate. it is far from clear that the project of human civilization would have succeeded with such constraints. Regan’s theory also struggles. he states. Killing and Suffering (1983) paints a detailed picture of the possible downfall of whole economies the minutiae of which. 281] 2.’ & the Environment. then to switch to nut steaks and vegetable lasagna might be just as painful. imagine the even greater difficulty in trying to transition to such a framework in the here-and-now. unsuccessfully.’ In fact. ‘much more comfortable with the ideal of natural rights than with natural obligations. 2000. James. are nonetheless plausible enough to be disturbing…In the first place. Most 24 . to justify the imposition of obligation on the human to respect the alleged ‘rights’ of animals. over 99% of all species die off. However. James.: Catholic University Press. Washington D.’ & the Environment. for arguments sake.C.C. Evolution. Animal ‘Rights. This critique scores heavily against Tom Regan’s theory of rights. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. and for those forced to it because of the unavailability of meat it would also be deeply resented. p. as follows: “But let us. If it is difficult to change habits like smoking or drinking. Johnson characterizes the impasse at which modernist moral theory has arrived as precisely consisting in its failure to justify the imposition of obligations.

171] For example.” [Pojman. survival from cancer has doubled in the last 40 years. That amazing progress is a direct result of treatments developed through studies in animals. ‘though the (economic) heavens fall’ there is no case for protecting society ‘if the protection in question involves violating the rights of others. Italian. Frey has argued. and surgical techniques such as keyhole surgery were first tested in animals. and even Oriental restaurants would cease to exist in their present forms…In the wider context. Besides losing the delicious taste of meat in our diet (which by itself might not outweigh the animal's plight) hundreds of thousands of factory farm workers. “Do Animal Rights Entail Moral Nihilism?” Public Affairs Quarterly. David Scott. the Affirmative should make the Negative defend the loss of items and services produced by dint of animal testing. p. Professor Pojman explains as follows: “The Achilles Heel in his argument is the idea of preference. survival from childhood cancer has rocketed from just a quarter of children surviving the disease in the late 1960s to more than three quarters surviving today.com 25 traditional French. Social chaos might ensue.” 25 . Against Liberation: Putting Animals in Perspective. Michael. as R. business owners.’” [Leahy. To give just one demonstration of the importance of animal research. PlanetDebate. But this progress simply wouldn’t have been possible without animal research…Animal studies showed the benefits of radiotherapy in the early days of cancer research. the utilitarian thing to do would be to work for reforms in the factory farm. such as cancer treatment. Their families would suffer. exercise and pleasure. Thanks to decades of research. 214-15] Without an accurate mechanism by which to assess animal preferences. G. p. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. giving thousands of people more time with their loved ones. transporters. How do we weigh the preferences of chicken. 1993. wrote this year that… “More people are surviving cancer than ever before. it seems fundamentally wrong to expose so many to such incredible risks based upon what is ultimately mere supposition. British. and studies in animals continue to be vital in bringing benefits to cancer patients and saving lives around the room. permitting animals more space. pigs. Dr. Regan contends that. Even prevention strategies such as the cervical cancer vaccine have relied on animal research. 7:2. How does Singer know that the abolition of factory farms will result in a net gain of preference satisfaction? Imagine the suffering that would be incurred by such abolition. and cows? Perhaps. Director of Science Funding for Cancer Research UK.Minh A. and butchers would be unemployed. London: Routledge. American. Louis. 1991.

as such.” [Fellenz. IL: University of Illinois Press. legislation protecting endangered species requires counting animals. They address neither material nor conceptual inequities that are part of a history of exploitative practices. In turn. the terms of these negotiations are always set by humans and ultimately in terms of human interests. breeding them. any oppression would likely merely be replicated and more deeply inscribed. p. In addition. then ‘animal rights’ is a misnomer. capturing and tagging them.cancerresearchuk. they are more likely to serve human interests and desires than animal nature. these protective rights bring with them regulation and surveillance if not disciplinary institutions. following them. the difficulty in applying the standard deontological theory to rights to other animals is evident: since nonhumans are not generally understood to be responsible agents. Thus. tracking them.Minh A. as Kelly Oliver explains… “Rights defined as protections still do not address the myriad causes of oppression and denigration. Urbana. it continues structures of power that both enable and require putting 26 . PlanetDebate. the struggle continues between environmental and business interests as to the allocation of resources for wildlife. If responsible agency is a necessary condition for holding unacquired moral rights. even as such legislation goes some distance in “liberating” animals. and so on. and are only meaningful to the extent that they are executed through human proxy.org/2011/06/21/animal-research-is-helping-us-beatcancer/] 3. Equal protection for oppressed people or animals does not go far enough in redistributing resources. Equal protections do nothing to redress the material or cultural inequities in the distribution of resources. 2007. it would be a pale freedom – not even worth the name. For example. Rights claims would likely simply ensnare animals in further layer of bio-power driven domination. Rights Fail: They are a Poor Mechanism to Protect the Environment and Such Attempts Will Sap Rights of Their Power to Liberate The inability to participate in the Rights Claims process ultimately render animal rights inoperable. 79] Even if moderate advances appeared to be made on behalf of animals. Marc. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. In terms of animals. as Professor Fellenz explains: “Consequently. including human interests in animals.com 26 [http://scienceblog. The Moral Menagerie: Philosophy and Animal Rights. they cannot meaningfully participate in political or moral space as either the bearers or recipients of moral rights claims. Of course. any legal or political rights a society extends to animals will amount to human largesse.

in conclusion. particularly now with the heightened security regulations in place for the sake of our protection. 245] 4. and bred in captivity. Human demands on the environment are individual demands. the distinction between species becomes impossible to retain. the term ‘person’ would come to lose its meaning. tagged. Kelly. these demands are increased and a principle of adjudication is required. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. 22:3. but to many or all species of quadrupeds and mammals. with regard to the issue of rights. “What is Wrong with (Animal) Rights?” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy.C. and it becomes difficult to imagine circumstances which would prevent its being extended not only to primates. and even beyond.’ & the Environment.: Catholic University Press. James. In the end.” [Reichmann. The animal liberation movement is based upon an analogy between human and animal suffering and its main thrust is not to provide a means to adjudicate between conflicting demands that human individuals make on the environment. the pandora’s box seems to have been opened. Animal ‘Rights. Evolution. Undermines Movement: Relying on the Individualistic Tool of Rights to Assist Animals Undercuts the Momentum Toward A Meaningful Environmental Ethic Byron Norton makes the argument that the individualism inherent within rights claims is incompatible with the biocentric stance required for a necessary environmental ethic: “It is worthwhile to examine. and the entire ethical project of rights be devastatingly undermined. they are measured. the notion of personhood and its presuppositions are very much in need of a closer analysis. 2000. but rather it introduces a 27 . p.Minh A. it is obvious how equal protection means increased surveillance and regulation. Given our attitudes toward animals. The ways in which the liberty and freedom afforded by protective rights also bring increased regulations are more apparent when we consider animal rights but should also give us pause in terms of human rights. the deeper explanation for the failure of individualistic appeals to rights and interests as a basis for an environmental ethic. If personhood can be extended to some species of nonhuman animals. 218] Making matters worse. Even though people may not be captured. such a failed attempt to extend rights to animals would also render rights an ineffective tool for dealing with other forms of human oppression. p.” [Oliver. and regulated in less conspicuous ways. James Reichmann points out the danger as follows: “The foregoing should make clear why. counted.com 27 up fences and manhandling them for their own protection. 2008. As the population increases. Washington D. PlanetDebate. and the ways in which we count them.

NY: State University of New York Press. Urbana.com 28 whole new category of demands – the demand of animals. the debate over the philosophical scaffolding necessary to support the concept of natural animal rights seems only to divert us from the essential question of what duties we have to other animals. The Animal Rights/Environmental Ethics Debate: The Environmental Perspective.). It also has the contingent effect of calling attention to destruction of habitat as one source of animal suffering.” [Norton. The basic problem. Marc. Albany. Recognition of such demands has the overall effect of exacerbating the problem. “Environmental Ethics and Nonhuman Rights. An environmental ethic must support the holistic functioning of an ongoing system. 90] The debate about animal right is so incendiary that it risks distracting from. as Professor Fellenz explains: “This problems points toward a larger question about the ultimate usefulness of the language of rights in our moral deliberations…The point seems especially relevant in the case of our treatment of nonhumans. 1992. and many have seen this as a plausible route to an environmental ethic. more and more demands are made. 87] 28 .” [Fellenz. But in the absence of a consensus.Minh A. then. The Moral Menagerie: Philosophy and Animal Rights. PlanetDebate. Byron. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. p. p. One cannot generate a holistic ethic from an individualistic basis. Were there a consensus about what human moral agents owe to other animals. where there is such considerable disagreement about where the moral limits are. IL: University of Illinois Press. lies precisely in the emphasis on individual claims and interests. Expanding the number and types of rights holders does not address the problem of deciding which individual claims have priority over others – it only increases these demands and makes it more and more difficult to satisfy them. But as the class of rights holders is expanded further and further in order to insure that environmentally damaging results affect some rights holder.” From anthology by Hargrove. Eugene (ed. regardless of how widely that basis is expanded. we might use the term animal rights as shorthand to convey it. more fundamental issues of environmental and animal welfare. and reducing space regarding. 2007.

below is a good “cookie-cutter” definition of justice to use as a starting point.” [The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (unabridged). but for the limitations of human benevolence and the competition for scarce goods. New York: Simon and Schuster] Recognition   Recognition . P. a) a recognizing or being recognized. impartiality. New York: Simon and Schuster] Requires   Require .1. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. according to Hume. reward or penalty as deserved. This distinguishes it from charity. or of a government 29 .1. Vol. the quality of being right or correct 4. given the longstanding philosophical relationship between the two concepts: “Questions of justice. to order.com 29 DEFINITIONAL  ANALYSIS   Justice   Although the meaning of justice is undoubtedly a fundamental question in the resolution. 3/4. demand 2. as by right or authority. validity 5. 2. Justice presupposes people pressing claims and justifying them by rules or standards. PlanetDebate. sound reason. gratitude. to ask or insist upon. to be in need of. 298] However. etc. Justice – 1. admission. [Webster’s New World Dictionary (Third College Edition). command 3. just desserts [Webster’s New World Dictionary (Third College Edition). there would be no point in talking about justice. This status is not surprising. Mill. to demand by virtue of law. in the animal rights debate it is debated more robustly via surrogate – in this case – the question of rights. as by secession. to call for as necessary or appropriate 5. need 4. No one can claim alms or gifts as a right. 1988. etc. formal acknowledgment by a government of independence and sovereignty of a state newly created. 1967. and others. the quality of being righteous. regulation. 1988. presuppose conflicts of interest. according to Hume. or generosity. because it is always useful to have one. benevolence. rightfulness. rectitude 2. fairness 3. as of a fact b) acknowledgment and approval. acknowledgment.Minh A.

Kelly. hired guns to knock off innocent enemies? On Taylor's logic. if racism. but what grounds are there for third parties. further. like experimenting scientists or doctors. including human beings and other animals. Why prefer a human to an HIV's existence? Of course. the paradoxes of rights can be articulated thus: either the working definition of animal is so vague that it includes everything from amoebas to zebras without considering differences between them. and as such is just as valuable as we are. the HIV virus occupies a niche in the ecosystem. 1988. identification of some person or thing or as having been known before or as being of a certain kind [Webster’s New World Dictionary (Third College Edition).com 30 newly set up. “What is Wrong with (Animal) Rights?” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy. But. 22:3. Kelly Oliver explains as follows: “In terms of animals. and 30 . the differences among species plague philosophers of animal rights who continually try to delineate which animals are most like us and which are not. to take sides and engage in viral destruction? Are our scientists and physicians well-paid hit men and women. you could say that the AIDS patient himself has a right of self. New York: Simon and Schuster] Animal   Offering an initial definition of “animal” is likely perilous ground for the Affirmative on this topic.defense to destroy the HIV.Minh A. this line of thought can function as a strong Negative argument. as by revolution 3.” which excludes not only hordes of nonmammals but also all mammals of less than a year in age.” [Oliver. Where to draw the line on what is or is not an animal is not just difficult for debaters. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. 218] Indeed. This raises the challenge of adjudicating rights between different species. sexism. This kind of definition not only flies in the face of normal usages of the word animal but also appears arbitrary and dangerously exclusive…Ironically. as Professor Louis Pojman explains in the following reductio… “A second criticism of Taylor's egalitarian biocentricism is this. PlanetDebate. if not careful. 2008. For example. p. By his logic it would be wrong for doctors to kill bacteria or viruses which are threatening the lives of humans. it is a problem among philosophers in the field as well. insofar as the Affirmative may demonstrate difficulty in drawing morally clear lines on the question. and which deserve rights and which do not. Tom Regan defines “the word animal ” as “mentally normal mammals of a year or more. or it uses the differences between them to continue to justify excluding or exploiting most. as it is very easy to inadvertently link oneself to a framing Kritik.

not to be raised for food or experimented upon).” [Pojman. The Moral Menagerie: Philosophy and Animal Rights. helium atoms. 182] Given the already articulated difficulty in drawing the line between animal and non-human. a brutish. IL: University of Illinois Press. and whether such rights presuppose rather than generate moral judgments about the exploitation of animals. rocks.com 31 speciesism are sins. So much for the dictum "People before Property. stars. the below definition is obviously an inadequate. Animal . debased. any such organism other than a human being 3.1. and dorm rooms? Dorm rooms can flourish and run down just like living entities. 7:2. Philosophy Professor Marc Fellenz explains as follows: “While those who have tried to bring animals under the umbrella of rights have done so with a view to solidifying their claim to moral recognition. 88] 31 . Similarly. p. “Do Animal Rights Entail Moral Nihilism?” Public Affairs Quarterly. whether the philosophical foundation necessary to support such alleged rights can be asserted coherently . 1988. albeit necessary. mountains. which cannot help but factor into the debate. so if we accept that emendation then it is just as bad or wrong to smash a rock or destroy a computer or dorm room as it is to kill a student who lives in a dorm room. point from which to intellectually operate. excluding plants and bacteria: most animals can move about independently and have specialized sense organs that enable them to react quickly to stimuli: animals do not have cell walls. 2007. New York: Simon and Schuster] Rights   As the definitions offered below will illustrate. the matter of how the Affirmative frames its rights claim will be essential in determining its burden of proof. how such rights might square with conflicting human rights. any living organism.” [Fellenz. it remains unclear whether nonhumans can meaningfully claim to have rights (say. nor do they make food by photosynthesis 2. PlanetDebate. isn't biocentrism also a prejudice? Why ascribe value only to living things and not non-living things like computers. Louis. An expanded package of animal rights will likely increase the obligations upon humans.Minh A. 1993. smart Negative debaters will try to “strawperson” the Affirmative by attempting to require them to defend a broad conception of rights. or inhuman person [Webster’s New World Dictionary (Third College Edition). an issue indirectly addressed in the previous “Topic in Context” section. cars. Marc. p. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Urbana.

“Rights” in The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory. for instance) and provide for them.” [Sumner. by creating an obligation for oneself or someone else. not only should we not kill them. 289] 32 . However. etc. p. to bring about a change in the moral or legal situation (for instance. To have a right is. How might this work? Suppose one argued that animals have both positive and negative liberty rights…The attribution of positive rights. The dilemma is explained by Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University and former president of the International Society for Environmental Ethics. 2010.Minh A. we took a very basic right – the right to life – as a positive right and thought about what this would mean in the wild. to have a right to do x means that it is not wrong to do x. Blackwell Publishers: Oxford (U. alongside negative duties not to harm. by waiving a claim. But this would require very extensive intervention in the wild. especially given the ‘trumping’ strength usually attributed to rights claims. for instance. PlanetDebate. but we should protect them from being killed (by other animals or harsh weather. and also begins to explain their perennial appeal. 34-35] Definition of Rights – Generic Right n 1 a power (an ability. a position that attributes both positive and negative rights to animals. In this sense. to have a right to do x means that it is not wrong to do x. In this sense. If wild animals have a positive right to life.536-37] Definition of Rights – Imposition of Constraints on Collective Goals “Rights impose constraints on the pursuit of collective goals.W. P. benefit. for instance. would appear to be very demanding.K. then.). or a provision. Animal Ethics in Context.” [Palmer. 3 permissibility in combination with prohibition of interference.). [Penguin Reference Dictionary of Philosophy. 2005.com 32 An especially difficult question for Affirmatives to approach is whether they will defend both positive and negative conceptions of rights for animals. Hugh Lafollette. to be in control. Suppose . so to speak. morally or legally. 2000. Clare. and that it is wrong for others to interfere. 2 permissibility. a faculty) belonging to a person. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. L. by authorizing a person to bring about a change. This very general characterization serves to identity in a preliminary way the moral/political function of rights. concerns duties of assistance. protection. Clare Palmer: “A few animal-rights theorists attribute both positive and negative rights to animals. if a winter storm prevents them from accessing their normal food supply. coupled with the trumping strength usually attributed to rights claims. New York: Columbia University Press. p. ed.

or slavery.” [Francione. xxvi-xxvii] 33 .” [Sumner. Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? Philadelphia. p. not infringing on the ability of others likewise to make responsible use of their freedom. James.K. even if it would be beneficial to the person seeking that entry. provided only that the use being made of freedom is responsible. As one writer describes it. They build protective fences around the individual. place restrictions on others. ed. Animal ‘Rights. Hugh Lafollette. Consequently. Gary. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. The protection the right provides is not physical in nature but rather moral. For this reason rights may fittingly be likened to a moral shield. rights and obligations are correlative notions.: Catholic University Press. but it will also typically have a threshold above which they dominate or override the right…Rights raise thresholds against considerations of social utility but these thresholds are seldom insurmountable. 2000. L. that is. Some particularly important rights (against torture.W.Minh A.’ & the Environment. p. A right will insulate its holder to some extent against the necessity of taking these considerations into account. or genocide) may be absolute. are self-directing. PlanetDebate. reasonable. Washington D. for they provide protection to those beings who possess the power of making free choices. p.). such as the promotion of worthwhile goals. One does not exist without the other. But Necessarily in an Absolute Sense “The strength of a right is its level of resistance to rival normative considerations. There can be no obligation where there is no right. for one person’s right is another person’s obligation. i. and there can be no right where there is not a corresponding obligation. 2000. Right therefore. but most are not.e. “Rights” in The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory. 261-62] Definition of Rights – Zone of Protection “We can think of a right as any sort as a fence or a wall that surrounds an interest and upon which hangs a ‘no trespass’ sign that forbids entry. 293] Definition of Rights – Linked to Obligation and Agency “Rights have as their fundamental purpose the protection of freedom. guaranteeing that the individual will be allowed to make his or her own decisions without interference. PA: Temple University Press. perhaps. rights are ‘moral notions that grow out of respect for the individual.” [Reichmann.com 33 Definition of Rights – Constrain Utility. Blackwell Publishers: Oxford (U. The establish areas where the individual is entitled to be protected against the state and the majority even where a price is paid by the general welfare. Evolution. 2000.C.

2. it would make sense to extend rights to the other group because there would be no non-arbitrary way of deciding why one group received benefits and another did not. then not granting rights to both groups would be arbitrary discrimination. According to Utilitarian philosophy. then there is an obligation to prevent the needless suffering of animals. If the avoidance of pain is an inherent moral good. as well as inhumane activities like dog fighting. If the moral status of rights stems from our interest in avoiding pain. and their interest in avoiding it. this would exclude infants and those with significant mental disorders. The position that animals should not pointlessly suffer is largely already enshrined in legal regimes throughout the world. we have found that these four affirmative positions have significant potential and resonate with judges ranging from former debate competitors to non-expert but educated professionals. Others argue that humanity’s capability to accomplish more than animals. The United States bans the abuse of animals. and if justice requires that we pursue that which is inherently good. this suggests that animals have the basic right to be free from unnecessary suffering. which would be unjust. Many countries in the European Union even require that animals in farms have a base quality of life standard. The one thing that all groups of humans have in common is their ability to feel pain. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.com 34 AFFIRMATIVE  POSITIONS   Based on our focus group testing of potential arguments on this topic. Animals must have the right to avoid unnecessary suffering. 34 . the only inherent good is the enhancement of pleasure. Animals have sufficient moral standing to justify rights claims. In order to determine whether or not animals have rights. but again. PlanetDebate. and the only inherent evil is suffering. Since even legal regimes require that animals not suffer needlessly. Hence. but society still confers rights to infants and those that are severely mentally disabled. 1. Some may argue that rights stem from human rationality. and if animals can feel pain. if humans and non-human animals shared the characteristics that justified the provision of rights. then they should have the have their interest in avoiding pain similarly respected. which justifies differential consideration. it could be helpful to examine the basis on which humans have claim to rights. If humans and non-human animals share the same characteristics that justify the protection of rights for one group.Minh A.

as it may have catastrophic effects on other parts of the ecosystem. there may be reasons for humans to respect animal rights. Some would argue that humans have rights because of our rationality. human practices like factory farming cause significant environmental damage that may ultimately harm the interests of humans in the long-term. and it is only when other creatures. humans should avoid potentially wiping out species of animals. In this sense. but many animals are able to communicate with each other and establish shared group expectations on a very basic level. Animals have natural capabilities and freedoms that justify the protection of their rights. Since the ecosystem operates in a careful balance. but animals often demonstrate creative problem solving and the ability to show base level preferences. 4. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.com 35 3. Protecting animal rights promotes human rights. and some human activities have tremendous environmental risks. wild animals may have a unique claim to have their rights respected. animals born into the wild have natural freedom. PlanetDebate. they possess enough of them to justify some moral consideration of their interests in the form of rights. One justification for human rights is that humans have unique capabilities that justify the protection of our interests. and especially humans. 35 . Additionally. Animal rights would provide strong protections for animals that also preserved the interests of humanity. the capabilities they do possess require at least a minimal level of rights protection.Minh A. intervene that they are not able to pursue their interests. Others would argue that only humans have language to potentially follow moral rules and create a social order. then animals born into that same state should equally have their right to pursue their interests respected. If humans have natural rights because they are born free into a state of nature. Even if the moral status of animals or their capability to feel pain is called in to question. Even if animals do not fully have the capabilities of humans. Humans depend on the environment to live. Wild animals are normally free to pursue their own interests because they are also born into a state of nature. Additionally. Even if animals do not fully share many of these capabilities.

Humans face unique challenges and have unique capabilities that make it so that rights only make sense for humans. Since human interactions are largely based on the complex communication of ideas and interests. To try to apply rights to other entities besides humans would be to inappropriately apply the category of rights to beings that it was never intended to protect. we may need unique social protections. Rights were created to serve as side-constraints to protect the unique moral status of persons. they must remain as protections for humans instead of other entities. it would make sense to categorize those protections as something other than rights. but this would not necessarily create an obligation on the part of the government to directly supply either dogs or dog owners with dog food. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. which animals would have no use for. Many humans. dog owners may have an obligation to give their dogs food. 2. Just because animals do not necessarily possess rights does not mean that they are not worthy of consideration. For example. our staff have found that these four negative positions have significant potential and resonate with judges ranging from former debate competitors to non-expert but educated professionals. but that does not mean that animals have a right to those goods. There are many special relationships between humans and animals that would require some consideration of the animals’ needs. If rights have meaning as a concept. Additionally. humans heavily rely on behaviors that would arguably violate animal rights. Since humans are distinct from other non-human animals.Minh A. Rights are creations of human morality. Individuals may owe animals specific obligations. Humans are social animals. Rights are unnecessary for animals. 1. PlanetDebate. would require the preservation of basic rights. especially those living in under-developed coastal areas throughout the world. Rights do not apply to animals. Currently. depend on consuming both land and marine animals as a critical part of their diets.com 36 NEGATIVE  POSITIONS   Based on our focus group testing of potential arguments on this topic. One conception of rights is that they are creations that allow human society to flourish. non-human animals ought not have rights. The recognition of animal rights would substantially harm humans. which animals would not have a use for. like the right to privacy. If animals do not need the same level of protections that humans require. participation in institutions. like the right to free speech. but would not necessarily rise to the level of a right. Making it so that those animals had inviolable rights to life would make it so that starvation would become a real 36 . such as the state. 3.

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possibility. Even in countries that have the capability to switch to a government-mandated vegetarian diet, requiring a switch away from livestock would have a substantial economic impact that would harm human interests. Additionally, animals play a critical role in scientific research. Humanity has benefited tremendously from being able to conduct clinical trials on animals – it has lead to the development of safe, effective medications, procedures, and vaccines that benefit everyone. Since medical ethics and legal regulations significantly limit the ability of scientists to test on humans, humanity would be worse off it could not perform experiments on animals. Since there is no viable alternative to animal testing, granting animals rights would hinder scientific advancement. If humans have a choice between prioritizing their interests or animal interests, it only makes sense that we prioritize ourselves. 4. The recognition of animal rights is not legally tenable.

The protection of rights must imply some kind of enforcement mechanism. If rights were merely empty moral claims, there would be no reason to grant them because they would not serve to protect an agent’s interests. When rights conflict in human society, those disagreements are referred to the legal system. Legal systems are grossly unprepared to protect animal rights. Animal rights would require that judges and juries would have to somehow interpret the specific interests of animals. Additionally, it may be unclear who can represent animal rights claims in court. Since many people may have plausible interests in the outcome of an animal rights issue, and since animals cannot represent themselves, it may be difficult to determine who could actually bring animal rights claims to court. Expanding legal claims to animals would also substantially increase the number of cases that courts heard, which would slow the administration of justice for both humans and animals.


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SELECTED  RESOURCES   Publications:   Abbey, Ruth. 2007. “Rawlsian Resources for Animal Ethics.” Ethics and the Environment. 12:1. Cavalieri, Paola. 2001. The Animal Question: Why Nonhuman Animals Deserve Human Rights. New York: Oxford University Press. Clark, Stephen R.L. 1984. The Moral Status of Animals. Oxford (U.K.): Oxford University Press. DeGrazia, David. 1996. Taking Animals Seriously: Mental Life and Moral Status. Cambridge (U.K.): Cambridge University Press. Donovan, Josephine. 1990. “Animal Rights and Feminist Theory.” Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 15:2. Everett, Jennifer. 2001. “Environmental Ethics, Animal Welfarism, and the Problem of Predation: A Bambi Lover’s Respect for Nature.” Ethics and the Environment. 6:1 Fellenz, Marc. 2007. The Moral Menagerie: Philosophy and Animal Rights. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. Flukiger, Jean-Marc. 2009. “The Radical Animal Liberation Movement: Some Reflections on its Future.” Journal for the Study of Radicalism. 2:1. Fox, Michael. 1990. Inhumane Society: The American Way of Exploiting Animals. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Fox, Michael. 1986. The Case for Animal Experimentation: An Evolutionary and Ethical Perspective. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Fox, Michael. 1978. “’Animal Liberation: A Critique.” Ethics. 88:2. Francione, Gary. 2000. Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Francione, Gary. 1996. Rain without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Franklin, Julian. 2005. Animal Rights and Moral Philosophy. New York: Columbia University Press. Frey, R.G. 1983. Rights, Killing, and Suffering. Oxford (U.K.): Basil Blackwell Publishing. Frey, R.G. 1980. Interests and Rights: The Case Against Animals. Oxford (U.K.): Clarendon Publishing. Frey, R.G. 1977. “Interests and Animal Rights.” The Philosophical Quarterly. 27:108. 38

Minh A. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic
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Galvin, Shelley and Harold Herzog. 1992. “Ethical Ideology, Animal Rights Activism, and Attitudes Toward the Treatment of Animals.” Ethics and Behavior. 2:3. Gaarder, Emily. 2011. Women and the Animal Rights Movement. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Goodheart, Eugene. 2006. “Peter Singer’s Challenge.” Philosophy and Literature. 30:1. Grosvenor, Peter. 2003. “Why Animal Experimentation Matters: The Use of Animals in Medical Research.” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 46:3. Hargrove, Eugene (ed.). 1992. The Animal Rights/Environmental Ethics Debate: The Environmental Perspective. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Johnson, Andrew. 1989. “A Blind Eye to Animal Rights?” Philosophy. 64:248. Leahy, Michael. 1991. Against Liberation: Putting Animals in Perspective. London: Routledge. Linzey, Andrew and Dorothy Yamamoto (ed.). 1998. Animals on the Agenda: Questions about Animals for Theology and Ethics. Urbana (IL): University of Illinois Press. Loeb, Jerod, et al. 1989. “Human vs Animal Rights: In Defense of Animal Research.” Journal of the American Medical Association. 262:19. Midgley, Mary. 1983. Animals and Why They Matter. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. Milligan, Tony. 2010. Beyond Animal Rights: Food, Pets, and Ethics. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. Mitchell, Robert (ed.). 1997. Anthropomorphism, Anecdotes, and Animals. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Narveson, Jan. 1977. “Animal Rights.” Canadian Journal of Philosophy. 7:1. Newmyer, Stephen. 2006. Animals, Rights and Reason in Plutarch and Modern Ethics. New York: Routledge. Nibert, David. 2002. Animal Rights/Human Rights: Entanglements of Oppression and Liberation. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Nibert, David. 1994. “Animal Rights and Human Social Issues.” Society and Animals. 2:2. Oliver, Kelly. 2008. “What is Wrong with (Animal) Rights?” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy. 22:3. Palmer, Clare. 2010. Animal Ethics in Context. New York: Columbia University Press. Peek, Charles, Nancy Bell, and Charlotte Dunham. 1996. Gender & Society. “Gender, Gender Ideology, and Animal Rights Advocacy.” 10:4.


40 . 2009. “Animal Welfare. 11:1. Richard. Mark. NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 1977. 110:3. Tom and Peter Singer (ed. 1976.” Journal of Law and Society. “Animal Rights: A Socio-Legal Perspective. 1993. 27:1. Sapontzis. James. Peter. London: The Humanitarian League. 2000. 1994-95. “Do Animal Rights Entail Moral Nihilism?” Public Affairs Quarterly.F. Animal Rights & Human Morality. Bernard. Animal ‘Rights. Regan. and Animals.). Bernard. Animal Revolution: Changing Attitudes towards Speciesism. Englewood Cliffs. 1980.: Catholic University Press. London: Routledge Publishing. “Are Animals Moral Beings?” American Philosophical Quarterly. Schmahmann. Defending Animal Rights. Evolution. 2:2. Rollin. David and Lori Polacheck.C. 2003. Cass. Sztybel. Henry. Louis. Animal Rights and Human Obligations. Washington D. 19:2. Animal Rights: Moral Theory and Practice. Andrew and Bernard Rollin. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. 1990. Sunstein. Shepard. Salt. Regan. Sapontzis. Singer. The Case for Animal Rights. Morals. 1983. 1989. Rollin. 2001. 1974.” University of Chicago Law Review. London: Palgrave MacMillan.’ & the Environment. Valerio. S.” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. Urbana (IL): University of Illinois Press. “Animal Rights (Book Review). Oxford (U.Minh A. Tom. 7:2. NY: Prometheus Books. 1992.com 40 Pocar. S. Reichmann. New York: Avon Books.): Blackwell Publishing. 22:747. 1987. Animals’ Rights. Tom. 70:1. 1997. David. 68:10.” The North American Review. Regan. Pojman. “Animal Research – For and Against: A Philosophical. PlanetDebate. The Case Against Rights for Animals. Animal Rights and Agriculture. Social< and Historical Perspective. 1988 (1984).” Ethics and the Environment.” Journal of Animal Science.F. Posner. Rowlands.” Yale Law Journal.K. Sztybel. “Marxism and Animal Rights. “Can the Treatment of Animals be Compared to the Holocaust?” Ethics and the Environment. 1992. Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals. 17:1. Reason. Ryder. Richard. 2006. “The Rights of Animals. Paul. 1912. “Animal Rights and Human Rites. 259:4. 2000. Buffalo. Rowan. David.

Wise. 2000. Rattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals. 2:1. Gary.com 41 Taylor. and Environmental Ethics. Steven. Varner. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Steven. “The Tributaries of Radical Environmentalism. 2002. Vaughan. PlanetDebate. New York: Basic Books. 1988. Christopher. “Animal Research: Ten Years under Siege. In Nature’s Interest? Interests. 38:1. 41 . Drawing the Line: Science and the Case for Animal Rights. Animal Rights. Bron. 1998.” Bioscience. Wise.Minh A. Cambridge: Perseus Books. New York: Oxford University Press. 2008.” Journal for the Study of Radicalism.

com/200101220048. PlanetDebate.calpoly. 22 January 2001. Animal Rights. perhaps the most famous philosopher in the world and a passionate founder of the modern animal rights movement.newstatesman. http://www.city-journal. epistemology and other areas of philosophical investigation.edu/bts/   Editor’s  note:  There  are  many  more  pro-­‐animal  rights  websites  than  those  who  are  against   animal  rights. 2006. http://www.ca/~powlesla/personal/hunting/rights/ Roger Scruton. While most articles are ethical inquiries. is a scathing critique of Singer’s advocacy for animal rights. 42 . Rollin. Summer 2000. Temple University Press.com 42 Websites:   Author interview: Bernard E. City Journal.  Here  are  some  of  the  better  resources  for  those  debating  on  the  negative  side   of  the  resolution:   STOP Animal Rights Madness Compilation website of many anti-animal rights articles and websites maintained by Canadian hunter Jim Powlesland http://people. Roger Scruton demolishes Peter Singer.htm This book review of Peter Singer’s book. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Writings on an Ethical Life.” New Statesman. “Armchair moralising.org/html/10_3_urbanities-animal. others raise issues involving metaphysics. Roger Scrunton.ucalgary.temple. http://www.edu/tempress/authors/1969_qa.html One of the most critical essays against the animal rights movement and their most prominent advocates. Professor Rollin discusses his life and career in the animal rights debate. Putting the Horse before Descartes: My Life's Work on Behalf of Animals. http://digitalcommons.html Between the Species: An Online Journal for the Study of Philosophy and Animals Between the Species is a peer-reviewed electronic journal devoted to the philosophical examination of the relationship between human beings and other animals.Minh A.

furthermore. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. Peter Singer.animal-rights-library. a human being or a lion. we are rationally entitled to believe that animals can and do experience both pleasure and pain. they are caged in solitary narrow spaces and they are 43 . then it follows that given magnitudes of pain and suffering are equally evil in themselves whenever and wherever they occur. PlanetDebate.com/texts-m/singer02.htm If a being suffers. This is why the limit of sentience (using the term as a convenient. An in-tense toothache is an evil in a young man and an old man. then. To mark this boundary by some characteristic like intelligence or rationality would be to mark it in an arbitrary way.. sport. there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration. Tom Reagan. a man or a woman. “A Defense of Animal Rights”. “Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”. as I think it is. Peter Singer and Tom Regan. If a being is not capable of suffering. Every day millions of animals are slaughtered for food. A skeptic might deny that a toothache hurts a lion as much as it does a human being. Can they suffer!'"10 (although even Bentham fails to mention the pleasure animals may enjoy. and evil not for their consequences but in their own intrinsic natures. just as much of an evil as a comparable ex. It is not an uncommon view that interests of animals do morally matter. As Joel Feinberg has noted. that pain is an intrin-sic evil.com 43 SELECTED  QUOTATIONS  ON  THE  TOPIC   AFFIRMATIVE  QUOTATIONS   Animals feeling pain is intrinsically evil. http://www. “All Animals are Equal”. All this follows necessarily from the view that pain as such is an intrinsic evil.. Animal Rights and Human Obligations. the principle of equality requires that its suffering be counted equally with the like suffering—in so far as rough comparisons can be made—of any other being. 1975 If. For if it is true that animals can and do experience pain. if not strictly accurate. No matter what the nature of the being. 1989. Bentham saw this clearly when he observed that the morally relevant question about animals is not "Can they feel or Can they talk? but. Many people think that inflicting unnecessary suffering on animals is wrong while humans’ actual treatment of animals is far from taking into consideration their pains." Discriminating against animal rights would be based on arbitrary factors. shorthand for the capacity to suffer or experience enjoyment or happiness) is the only defensible boundary of concern for the interests of others. Aysel Dogan. Why not choose some other characteristic. or of experiencing enjoyment or happiness. Number 2. but once one does concede that lion pain and human pain are equally pain . Eds.Minh A. like skin color? Preventing suffering justifies the protection of animals. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. a fact which will assume some importance in my argument below).perience of a human being. Animals are generally kept in terrible conditions. there is nothing to be taken into account. Volume 5. it is true. then it must be true that the painful experience of an animal is. we are rationally compelled to regard animals as beings who count for something. when we attempt to determine what we morally ought or ought not to do.then there can be no reason for denying that they are equally evil in themselves.pain in the same sense and the same degree . considered intrinsically. and if. and fashion. 2010.11 "if it is the essential character of pain and suffering themselves that make them evil. a Caucassian or a Negro. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.

poisoned.1 Animal rights should prevent cruelty to animals. or products derived from soy beans. Eds. 2003 If we understand "rights" to be legal protection against harm. the most direct form of contact with members of other species is at mealtimes: we eat them. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. Animals used in biomedical and psychological experiments to observe the effects of toxins. this position seems unacceptable. and other high-protein vegetable products. “The Rights of Animals”. radiation. “Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”. in other words. In doing so we treat them purely as means to our ends. Number 2. the rest of society would be much better off if we found ways to decrease production at these plants. minimal position in favor of animal rights: The law should prevent acts of cruelty to animals. The University of Chicago Law Review. 2008. Of course some people. etc.and that people should be allowed to treat them however they choose. drugs. there is general agreement that ani-mals have rights of certain kinds. We can build on existing law to define a simple. And if we take "rights" to mean a moral claim to such protection. and the idea of animal rights is not at all controversial.Minh A. Peter Singer and Tom Regan. Cass Sunstein. Kyle Landis-Marinello. and only about being 44 . Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.com 44 transported long distances in crowded containers. and often killed after experiments if tests made on them did not already kill them. state law contains a wide range of protections against cruelty and neglect. and only human beings. “The Environmental Effects of Cruelty to Agricultural Animals”. have argued that animals are like robots and lack emo-tions . Volume 70. Number 1. Tom Reagan. And indeed. including sharp critics of the idea of ani-mal rights. then many animals already do have rights..[5] Factory farms cause substantial harms. 1975 On what grounds is it being alleged that each and every human being.animal-rights-library. irradiated. “All Animals are Equal”. http://www.8 But to most people. We regard their life and well-being as subordinate to our taste for a particular kind of dish. especially in urban. Volume 106. While factory farms are keen on keeping production levels as high as possible. 1989. Fulfillment of taste does not justify animal pain. Volume 5. Appeals to humans being intuitively more valuable are not justified. PlanetDebate. are intentionally burnt. it is problematic in an industry—such as factory farming—that externalizes many of its costs and contributes to numerous environmental problems that affect human health and welfare.com/texts-m/singer02. Animal Rights and Human Obligations. industrialized societies. Peter Singer. since it has been established beyond doubt that we could satisfy our need for protein and other essential nutrients far more efficiently with a diet that replaced animal flesh by soy beans. including Descartes. l say "taste" deliberately—this is purely a matter of pleasing our palate. Michigan Law Review. Almost everyone agrees that people should not be able to torture animals or to engage in acts of cruelty against them. about being human. There can be no defense of eating flesh in terms of satisfying nutritional needs. are intrinsically worthwhile? Just what is there. Although increased production usually benefits the economy.htm For the great majority of human beings.

In 45 . "human being. 2010.htm Philosophy ought to question the basic assumptions of the age. those philosophers who tackle problems that touch upon the issue reveal that they make the same unquestioned assumptions as most other humans." I find this view unsatisfactory. philosophy as practiced in the universities today does not challenge anyone's preconceptions about our relations with other species. Thinking through. Livestock on factory farms currently play an enormous role in the climate change crisis. fail to intuit the unique worth in question. And. further. Philosophers are human beings. Peter Singer and Tom Regan.com 45 human. So. PlanetDebate. even after the most scrupulous examination I can manage. in short. Kyle Landis-Marinello. 1989. Regrettably.animal-rights-library.Minh A. The worth in question. “A Defense of Animal Rights”. Peter Singer. I do not know how to prove that the view in question is mistaken in a few swift strokes. what most people take for granted is. philosophy does not always live up to its historic role. Aysel Dogan. 2008. Volume 106. Animal Rights and Human Obligations. Eds. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. though to a much wider extent. and only to those who are. for one. Factory farms influence global warming. All I can do is point out the historic precedents of certain groups of human beings who have claimed to "intuit" a special worth belonging to their group and not to others within the human family. whenever we carefully examine that complex of ideas we have before our minds when we think of the idea. A recent United Nations study found that livestock account for eighteen percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. in this case. For I think that falling into talk about the "intuition of the unique intrinsic worth of being human" would be the last recourse of men who. intuitive way of "knowing" such things could only serve the purpose of giving an air of intellectual respectability to unreasoned prejudices. I believe. and they are subject to all the preconceptions of the society to which they belong. our duty is to maximize happiness in the form of pleasure and minimize pain. would go on believing that they do anyhow. the chief task of philosophy. pain is evil while pleasure is good. The capacity to suffer is the most relevant criterion for moral standing.com/texts-m/singer02. The utilitarian proponents of animal movement argue that suffering caused by scientific experiments. As moral agents. By their writings. one possible answer here is that there isn't "anything" that underlies this worth. and because I. I can only register here my own suspicion that the same is true in this case. “The Environmental Effects of Cruelty to Agricultural Animals”. and what they say tends to confirm the reader in his or her comfortable speciesist habits. just belongs to anyone who is human. Sometimes they succeed in breaking free of the prevailing ideology: more often they become its most sophisticated defenders. It is a worth that we simply recognize or intuit. having found no good reason to believe that human beings have an unique intrinsic worth. that underlies this ascription of unique worth? Well. we should give equal consideration to their suffering as human suffering. can be allowed only if these are genuinely significant experiments (Singer 1990). The capacity to suffer or the criterion of sensibility is relevant to moral standing because. and say that it is good to remember that alluding to a special. however. both because it would seem to commit us to ah ontology of value that is very difficult to defend. Since animals are sentient creatures and thus have a capacity to suffer. critically and carefully. Michigan Law Review. as Bentham and Mill notably pointed out. http://www. and it is this task that makes philosophy a worthwhile activity. “All Animals are Equal”. Philosophy requires the re-examination of animal rights. for example.

Much of the livestock pollution comes from methane—a greenhouse gas (emitted directly by cows and sheep) that is at least twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide. That is.animal-rights-library. Eds. then I believe we are equally committed to the view that we cannot be justified in killing any one or any number of animals for the intrinsic good their deaths may bring to us. “Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”. we are given a rationally compelling argu-ment that shows that all and only human beings have an equal right to life. trucks. Deforestation is a major contributor to climate change because it releases the carbon dioxide that is stored in standing trees. To most philosophers these consequences are as unacceptable as the view that we should stop treating nonhumans in this way. Tom Reagan. 1975 Unless or until. and so long as we believe we are rationally justified in ascribing this right to humans and to make reference to it in the course of justifying our judgment that it is wrong to kill a given number of human beings simply for the sake of bringing about this or that amount of good for this or that number of people. http://www. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Factory farms also create significant carbon dioxide emissions (as well as other air pollution) by shipping large quantities of feed and meat products back and forth across the country. killing animals is as wrong as torturing because as being the subjects-of-a-life. What I do say is that we cannot justify doing so in their case. PlanetDebate. all of the cars. Peter Singer and Tom Regan.com/texts-m/singer02. To take this line without re-thinking our attitudes to other animals would entail that we have the right to perform painful experiments on retarded humans for trivial reasons. Just looking at methane alone. Accordingly. and other modes of fossil. Peter Singer. Canadian Journal of Philosophy.htm Philosophers who set out to find a characteristic that will distinguish humans from other animals rarely take the course of abandoning these groups of humans by lumping them in with the other animals. similarly it would follow that we had the right to rear and kill these humans for food. airplanes.Minh A. factory farms are responsible for mass deforestation for pasture land and to grow feed for agricultural animals. to the same extent. they have inherent worth. Even painless killing of animals is wrong. given all these conditions. even though regulating factory farms would go much further towards averting the climate change crisis. and so long as any plausible argument that might be advanced to support the view that all human beings have this right can be shown to support.based transportation combined only account for thirteen percent of the world’s emissions. Differences in capabilities between humans justify the protection of animals. Volume 5. the 100 million or so cattle in the United States produce roughly the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as an equal number of cars. The logic of equal rights for humans justifies equal rights for animals. 2010. In addition.com 46 comparison. “All Animals are Equal”. anymore than we can in the case of the slaughter of human beings. 46 . I do not say that there are no possi-ble circumstances in which we would be justified in killing them. Aysel Dogan. It is easy to see why they do not. While politicians debate over what to do to reduce car emissions. Animal Rights and Human Obligations. “A Defense of Animal Rights”. the agribusiness lobby has so far quelled any debate over increased regulation of their industry. then. Number 2. the view that animals have this right also. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. 1989. by arguing that such a practice brings about intrinsically valuable experiences for others. killing animals is wrong even if it is painless because they are the subjects-of-a-life.

let us say. Chronicle of Higher Education. They have a value beyond any consideration of utility. 2008. All subjects-of-a-life have basic moral rights equally for him Principles of animal justice should be incorporated in legal documents. In general the capabilities approach suggests that it is appropriate for each nation to include in its constitution or other founding statement of principle a commitment to regarding nonhuman animals as subjects of political justice and to treating them in accordance with their dignity. further. The United Nations has deemed the situation a worldwide “water crisis. The question is: would we say that this equality of pain and pleasure shows that there are no moral grounds for objecting to the practice in question? I do not think we would. The rest of the work of protecting animal entitlements might be done by suitable legislation and by court cases demanding the enforcement of laws. Imagine. Issue 2. Number 2. Volume 52. Suppose that a practice develops whereby the severely mentally retarded among us are routinely sent to Human Farms. since warmer 47 . let us suppose that the following is true of it: The amount of undeserved pain caused to these human beings is exactly equivalent to the amount of pleasure other human beings secure as a result of the practice. Now. they have very little human contact. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. Kyle Landis-Marinello. “The Environmental Effects of Cruelty to Agricultural Animals”.com 47 Animals cannot be treated simply as means to satisfy some ends. 2006. Volume 106. Factory farms are contributing to this water crisis in numerous ways. PlanetDebate. or after each has attained a certain weight. Michigan Law Review. Factory farms also pose a major threat to the most crucial natural resource of all—water. most of them are deprived of the ordinary means they might employ to secure enjoyment. I think we would want to say that this way of treating humans is not morally justified. So we also need international accords committing the world community to the protection of animal habitats and the eradication of cruel practices. The High Court of Kerala made a good beginning. In recent years. At the end of a certain period of time.Minh A. And imagine. the following Swiftian possibility. Society would never tolerate humans to be treated like animals. where they are not enforced. where they are made to live in incredibly crowded. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.” and the western United States is one area that is quickly running out of water. To begin. Except for contact with one another. Martha Nussbaum. but can be treated only through international cooperation. Tom Reagan. and among those who are permitted outside. Factory farms threaten the water supply. “Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”. They are kept in stalls or in cages where they are fed by automated devices. they are sold at public auction to the highest bidder and summarily carted off in loathsome vehicles to be "humanely'' slaughtered. that the purpose of all this is to raise these human beings as a source of food for other human beings. given such a practice. then. Many of them are kept permanently indoors. 1975 Let us begin here by first considering a conceivable practice that in-volves inflicting undeserved pain on human beings. many of the issues covered by this approach cannot be dealt with by nations taken in isolation. and judicial interpretation can make the ideas more concrete. At the same time. Volume 5. un-sanitary and confining conditions. “The Moral Status of Animals”. their contribution to climate change also contributes to the water crisis. The constitution might also spell out some of the very general principles suggested by the capabilities approach. thinking about what the idea of "life with dignity" implies for the circus animals in the case. many scientists have recognized that we are currently facing a severe shortage of usable water.

the death of a form of flourishing that has been judged to be essential for a life with dignity. however. The basic moral intuition behind my approach concerns the dignity of a form of life that possesses both deep needs and abilities. Political principles concerning basic entitlements are to be framed with those ideas in view. Tom Reagan. “The Moral Status of Animals”. where grazing on grass is impossible and where there are so many of them that they demand an enormous amount of feed (and all of the water needed to grow that feed). With Aristotle and the young Marx. Wounded animals are generally left to die slowly from blood loss and from infections they are incurred after being wounded.3 While doing research in the wild or interfering with the natural habitats of wild animals for commercial purposes. Aysel Dogan. failures to extend the freedoms of speech and conscience to all citizens — all those are treated as causing a kind of premature death.Minh A. I argue that it is a waste and a tragedy when a living creature has an innate capability for some functions that are evaluated as important and good. The preservation of dignity justifies animal rights. When farmers only had a small amount of livestock— many of which could graze on grass—much of this feed was unnecessary. Failures to educate women. Martha Nussbaum. Chronicle of Higher Education. Once we have judged. It does not simply read off norms from the way nature actually is. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. their predators. Its basic goal is to take into account the rich plurality of activities that sentient beings need — all those that are required for a life with dignity. etc. they are owned as if they were inanimate objects. their affiliations and attachments should also be taken into consideration. and in many arid western states. Although some of those crops feed humans. “A Defense of Animal Rights”. Volume 5. On factory farms. soy. alfalfa. Wild animals are made the property of private persons by hunting or by confining them. PlanetDebate. biological field researches do not only affect the observed animals but also their offsprings. a staggering amount (including between sixty and seventy percent of all corn and soybeans grown in the United States) feed livestock. Wild animals deserve special rights. “Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”. Millions of wild animals are killed or wounded by hunters for sports each year. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. In addition. Number 2. At the outset. that a central human power is one of the good ones. The species standard is evaluative. it should be noted that the framework of my defense of basic rights of animals is restricted primarily to wild animals—though I believe that with some qualifications animals in other domains may be included within this framework. In the United States. 2010. however. Volume 52. and other crops that take enormous amounts of water to grow. factory farms feed their livestock vast quantities of corn. we have a very strong moral reason for promoting it and removing obstacles to its development. Animals used for entertainment in zoos and circuses are forced to live in poor physical conditions and hardship. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. As wild animals live in a network of other animals. 2006. failures to promote adequate health care. the level increases to around ninety percent. Issue 2. livestock are crammed into cement bunkers. 1975 48 . but never gets the opportunity to perform those functions. one of the ones whose flourishing is essential for the creature to have a life with dignity.com 48 global temperatures lead to lower lake and river levels. crop irrigation accounts for over eighty percent of the consumptive use of freshwater. The fact that some animals may not have interests does not dejustify animal rights.

n3 If the legal system consistently holds in a particular fact pattern for one set of individuals . The general public overuses the term. “The Environmental Effects of Cruelty to Agricultural Animals”. Animal Law. irrelevant to the moral status of vegetarianism. If we can enhance the interests of animals within the legal system. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. whether protozoa do .for example. David Favre. Recognizing the moral standing of animals does not require them to have equal rights. preparatory to our eating them. Animals have interests other than protection from suffering. 2004. Factory farms negatively impact water quality. their "rights" will come into existence in the natural course of events. The use of the term "rights" in that first March was not constructive. Sinskey. Raising unnaturally high numbers of animals in confined areas creates a large quantity of waste that is often not treated properly before it enters our nation’s waterways.are cases which are. Agriculture is the leading contributor to water quality impairment in the United States. It seems to generate a response of: "Here we go again . 2010. I consider the moral standing of animals as somewhere between supererogatory duties and duties arising from basic claim rights in the sense of fully recognized entitlements by society. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. Sinskey involved one of the rare instances where a factory farm was caught for its environmental violations. can arise only if and when the animals we eat are the kind of beings who have interests.another wacky group wants something silly. Kyle Landis-Marinello. to the detriment of our waterways and human health. a meat-packing plant’s decision to double the number of hogs it raised—and thereby create more waste than their wastewater treatment plant could handle—necessarily resulted in criminal violations of the Clean Water Act. Volume 10. Legal rights are a judged outcome of the legal process. “Integrating Animal Interests into our Legal System”." because it enhances mental clarity. The recognition of animal requires a change in the law. I think. and benevolence. Feinberg’s notion of valid claims throws light on the idea of the moral standing of animals to be advocated here. the dumping of untreated—or improperly treated—waste goes undetected. in reproduction. 49 . to have it pointed out that there are or may be some animals who do not have interests does not in any way modify the obligation not to support practices that cause death or non-trivial. doubt whether an animal has interests . We must more closely focus on the input side of the legal process. with good reason.com 49 For the cases where we would. More frequently.as a summary of expected outcomes . and the meat industry is often the worst of the worst. painlessly or not. in security. Whatever reasonable doubts we may have about which animals do and which do not have interests do not apply. The question of the obligatoriness of vegetarianism." A more appropriate term than "rights" is "interests.it can be said that these individuals possess legal rights. Such interests create duties more powerful than duties arising from compassion.Minh A. For instance. 2008. Aysel Dogan. This does not mean that animals have exactly the same rights that we do. PlanetDebate. “A Defense of Animal Rights”. and so on. Volume 106. Michigan Law Review. Professor of Law at Michigan State University. pity. Factory farms have similarly negative effects on water quality. in United States v. Thus. undeserved pain to those animals that do. in other words. I think. to those animals that are raised according to intensive rearing methods or are routinely killed. such as an interest in living.

or a gorilla. Issue 2. Another sort of aggregation also causes difficulty: Utilitarians consider together diverse aspects of lives. often don't miss what they don't know. 2006. “A Defense of Animal Rights”. Obligations to animals justify animal rights. whether they have colorful furs. has many different aspects: movement. it is stressed that rights derive from needs or interests only if the relevant interests have crucial importance for the claimants’ lives. p. harm is done to individual creatures. Martha Nussbaum. Frequently. If rights pose obligations on us for the good of others. Their bodies are likewise structured for survival. it is clear that animals have an interest in survival and well-being. To deprive them of those things is to give them a distorted and impoverished existence. and the harm that is done to them when their powers are blighted. space. as well as the avoidance of pain. community. Volume 52. enable them not only to find food for themselves but also to escape from dangers of nature and their enemies. Raz’s notion of right is a typical example of conceiving rights in terms of having interests. Martha Nussbaum. Issue 2. it remains valuable as a part of their flourishing. Of course.com 50 Animals have the right to flourish. Some valuable aspects of animal lives might not even lead to pain when withheld. But we might think that a good life. Whether their skins are thin or thick.. their reflexes and reactions against attackers fit to this natural tendency. 50 . vision. they practice caution and care necessary to protect themselves. 2010. and so forth are all determined by their being appropriate instruments for their survival and adaptation to environment. rights are defined in terms of capability of having interests. health. Volume 52. and certainly not an issue of justice — apart from the harms to existing creatures that are usually involved in the extinction of a species. To avoid triviality. Consequently the survival of a species may have weight as a scientific or aesthetic issue. like humans. Every day. When elephants are deprived of a congenial habitat and hunted for their tusks. or on the species? It seems that here. “The Moral Status of Animals”. but it is not an ethical issue. etc. its focus is on the well-being of existing creatures. sharp teeth. not every interest constitutes a right to the fulfillment of the interest. reducing them all to experienced pain and pleasure. Accordingly. Concern for individual animals is necessary. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. their abilities to move quickly.Minh A. Thus. bodily integrity. The capabilities approach attaches no ethical importance to increased numbers as such. one reason for defending the view that animals have rights is that they have important interests for their own well-being. Animals. Animals have a natural motive to live. and it is that harm that should be our primary focus when justice is our concern. and not just because its absence is fraught with pain. to fly in the air. Chronicle of Higher Education. and it is hard to believe that animals cramped in small cages all their lives can dream of the free movement that is denied them. PlanetDebate. and complex social interaction. an elephant. In a similar fashion. 2006. He identifies rights with important interests of a claimant (1984. even while we may for other reasons seek the preservation of elephant species. “The Moral Status of Animals”. Nonetheless. and animals have important interests for their well-being. 194). then we ought not to inflict harm on their vital interests. affection. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. as in the human case. Those creatures characteristically live a life full of movement. Aysel Dogan. Even a comfortable immobility would be wrong for a horse. for an animal as for a human. the focus should be the individual creature. Does justice focus on the individual. dignity. Chronicle of Higher Education.

Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Animal Law. we ought to avoid destroying their natural habitats. Different ability to reason does not dejustify animal rights. make free choices or have a concept of their identity. have an equal natural right to be spared undeserved pain?14 Well. “Integrating Animal Interests into our Legal System”. The choice theory of rights is problematic. Those individuals who care about animals make personal decisions based upon moral beliefs that take non-human interests into account. 1975 Natural though this line of argument is. and one that could hardly bear the moral weight placed upon it by the differential treatment of animals and humans. in that it not only denies rights of animals but also excludes babies or mentally retarded adults and the like from the society of right holders just because they are unable to make meaningful choices. make free choices or form a con-cept of themselves? What one would want here are detailed analyses of these operative concepts together with rationally compelling em-pirical data and other arguments which support the view that all non-human animals are deficient in these respects. To the extent that these beliefs are not examined in the light of what we know about animal's and animal intelligence. it still would not follow that only human beings have them. many or most animals will receive the consideration that is due. only by altering the law can we force changes of behavior upon the unwilling. might it be claimed that no animals can reason. Tom Reagan. the sup-position that only human beings have these capacities is just that .com 51 Legal changes are necessary to protect animal rights. 2010.15 Many animal rights can be respected by just leaving animals alone.Minh A. Volume 5. It is true that a right brings a measure of control by the right 51 . For on what grounds might it be claimed that the humans. “A Defense of Animal Rights”. Volume 10. But there are many who are either ignorant of the issues or do not care that their actions impose pain and suffering upon animals. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. and even if it were true that all human beings met them. however. It would be the height of prejudice merely to assume that man is unique in being able to reason. For instance. as it is sometimes alleged. 2010. “A Defense of Animal Rights”. Aysel Dogan. but not the animals. While education and enlightenment will change the conduct of some. we ought to take necessary cautions to protect animals’ natural habitats from pollution that threatens their lives. Professor of Law at Michigan State University. precisely. it cannot be.a supposition. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. David Favre. even if these conditions did form the grounds for the possession of rights. “Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”. Moreover. for example-do not meet these conditions. We have the same necessity with animal issues. The respect for their right to life requires us to take such measures. 2004. Then. under ordinary or normal conditions. Number 2. we have an obligation to give due consideration to animals’ vital interests. However. Society must give concern to animals’ vital interests. PlanetDebate. I do not think it goes any way toward justifying the differential treatment of the animals and humans in question. These grounds will not justify the ascription of rights to all humans because some humans-infants and the severely mentally defective. that all and only human beings have this right because all and only humans reason. Aysel Dogan. etc. Even if we have no choice other than using poisoning chemicals in our industrial activities. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. For on what grounds.

it is not clear. Factory farms destroy topsoil. Wild animals have basic moral claims against human beings not only because they have important interests but also because they do not naturally belong to us. the erosion of topsoil—at rates more than ten times the replacement rate—is “a global crisis” that threatens “the shallow skin of nutrient-rich matter that sustains most of our food and ap-pears 52 . 465) writes. it is wrong to kill animals for the sake of protecting some less important human interests. we do not want to admit that babies might legitimately be killed when their existence and claims for the means of life jeopardize some relatively less significant benefits protected by the rights of free rational adults. because they fail to satisfy these con-ditions. no body can legitimately claim the private possession of them. despite their failure to satisfy these conditions.Minh A. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. As wild animals do not owe their physical existence. Thus. The right of self-ownership can apply to animals. it is reasonably clear that not all human beings satisfy them. 2008. as well. Volume 5. Their natural right to their bodies and to their well-being imposes on us the duty of noninterference with their lives. and so on do naturally belong to them. Factory farms are also destroying topsoil. if we want to insist that they have a right to life. Yet its narrow scope implies that basic interests of beings who are not capable of choice might easily be harmed and not respected. Animals have an equal right to life. like our limbs. Neither adult animals nor their offsprings do in any way owe their existence or nurturing to us. we cannot con-sistently maintain that animals. Wild animals are just found out there. nor are animals. The severely mentally feeble. especially when they come in conflict with legal claims of right holders. But animals themselves are in a position to make a claim against us because their bodies. Michigan Law Review. for example. Kyle Landis-Marinello. Number 2. Thus. and. Volume 106.com 52 holder over others similar to legal powers to bind or release those who are obligated and the choice theory explicates the binding power of rights very well. 1975 Briefly. “The Environmental Effects of Cruelty to Agricultural Animals”. if we want to insist that they have an equal right to life. second. their nurturing and protection from attackers to us. Accordingly. “Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”. If “to claim that one has rights is to make an assertion that one has them.” as Feinberg (2002. p. The interest conception of rights fits better to common sense morality and facilitates defending rights of animals as well as rights of some human beings coherently with our moral intuitions. then we cannot also maintain that they have it because they satisfy one or another of these conditions. Animals have rights also because humans might easily discharge their obligations corresponding to the basic rights of wild animals simply by doing nothing in most cases. Aysel Dogan. Tom Reagan. But this does not square with our moral intuitions. “A Defense of Animal Rights”. it seems difficult to accept the capability of choosing as the only relevant criterion of having a right. fail to satisfy them. If it is wrong to kill babies or the mentally retarded for the sake of respecting some legal rights of persons as autonomous agents. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. therefore lack this right. first. then we cannot justifiably claim that we humans have a right to the bodies of animals. 2010. something we have already had by our nature. we cannot assert that we have a right to them. that no non-human animals satisfy any one (or all) of these conditions. As Tom Paulson recently reported in the Seattle PostIntelligencer. PlanetDebate. We humans do not give birth to them. to use them in whatever way we think expedient for us. their well-being.

In the absence of such an explanation. the most plausible basis for attributing an equal natural right to be spared undeserved pain to all human beings turns on the idea that it is unjust to cause pain to an undeserving human being. To support basic rights of animals on the ground that they do not naturally belong to us is.” According to Harvey Blatt in America’s Environmental Report Card. Millions of acres of land are farmed every year just to feed the livestock at factory farms. that makes it possible to treat the former. To meet this de-mand. Volume 5. then. Aysel Dogan. etc. Differing capabilities between animals do not dejustify animal rights. what we should demand is some justifica-tion of this contention. given that it is unjust to do this to an innocent animal. I think we have every reason to suppose that restricting the concepts of just and unjust treat-ment to human beings is a prejudice. “a few inches of dirt is all that separates us from mass starvation. (and if what makes this unjust is the fact that the pain is evil and the human is innocent and thus does not deserve the evil he receives). 2006. Rachels goes on. or use animals for any other purpose convenient to us. PlanetDebate. Capacity to feel pain is what justifies equal human rights. That is. James Rachels. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. Issue 2.. or a rabbit of the right to vote. problematic in that it implies that we can do whatever we want to do with animals once we invest our labor on developing their well-being and thereby we make them our private property as inanimate objects. is a being's capacity for freedom or autonomy. and. if it is unjust to cause a human being undeserved pain. beat or torture animals or confine them in unsanitary spaces—e. It would make no sense to complain that a worm is being deprived of autonomy. narrow. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. one might dispute. every year these fields are left with less topsoil. One cannot.Minh A. it likewise would follow that animals have an equal natural right to be spared un-deserved pain. denying that there is a natural ranking of forms of life. we can sell. Chronicle of Higher Education. what is relevant to the harm of a specific type of pain is a specific type of sentience (for example. then it must also be unjust to cause an in-nocent animal undeserved pain. Number 2. farmers often clear additional fields and use tilling techniques that erode topsoil. “A Defense of Animal Rights”. though it is possible to do so toward humans. unjustly. destroy. Volume 52. What is relevant to the harm of pain is sentience. My capabilities view follows Rachels. for example. just because we exert some energy or use our labor to build a shelter for them. 2010. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. whose view does not focus on sentience alone.” Factory farms are thinning this pre-cious layer of topsoil by demanding vast quantities of certain crops (like corn and soy) that can be used as feed for their livestock. as a result. What is relevant to the harm of diminishing freedom. If. the ability to imagine one's own death). If it be objected that it is not possible to act unjustly toward animals. dark. This is not only morally objectionable but also forbidden by statutes protecting animal rights in many countries. then. holds that the level of complexity of a creature affects what can be a harm for it. “Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”. then. but not the latter.g.com 53 to play a critical role in supporting life on Earth. Martha Nussbaum. for instance. and is absent from all other animals.—or abandon them to die from starvation simply on the ground that one naturally owns them. once again. 1975 Moreover. but holding that the level of complexity of a creature affects what can be considered to be a harm to it. or breed them. what we should want to know is just what there is that is characteristic of all human beings. Tom Reagan. “The Moral Status of Animals”. Similarly. 53 . Humans’ right to property should not dejustify animal rights.

. 2010. is that any animal could have a right that is equal to the right that any human being has to be spared undeserved pain. less water consumption and pollution. 312). and less erosion of topsoil. by providing each animal with adequate space to roam—these farms will not be able to raise nearly as many animals. which will mitigate the envi-ronmental damage wrought by factory farms. I do not un-derstand how it can be logically inferred that humans possess this right to a greater extent than do animals. Nussbaum thinks that though in the case of animals there is some room for the distinction between positive and negative duties.com 54 Animal rights would eliminate factory farming. to grow domestic animals. Unless or until we are given some morally relevant difference that characterizes all humans. That is why this multi-billion-dollar industry spends so many resources lobbying legislatures and agencies to leave their practices unregulated. 1975 A critic will respond that all that this argument could show is that. Factory farming as we know it—and its devastating environmental effects—would not be possible if we were to criminalize cruelty to agricultural animals. among themselves. Aysel Dogan. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. each animal has an equal natural right to be spared undeserved pain. and have it to an extent that is equal to that in which humans possess it. that is. capital. Michigan Law Review. to an equal extent. Wild animals may have more rights than domesticated animals. PlanetDebate. Number 2. but no animals. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Kyle Landis-Marinello. 54 . Volume 5. . These and other environmental benefits all flow directly from decreasing production on factory farms. human responsibility to animals cannot consist merely of refraining from cruel treatment and aggression towards animals (2004. this critic will contend. then animals have this right also. In addition. 2008. Volume 106. I do not think this criticism is justified. if humans have this right. Fewer agricultural animals will necessarily translate to less methane and other greenhouse gas emis-sions. Production will thus decrease. “Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”. for the reasons given. For assuming that the grounds for ascribing the right in question are the same for humans and animals. on the basis of which we could justifiably allege that our right to be spared undeserved pain is greater than the right that belongs to animals.Minh A. What this argument could not show. “A Defense of Animal Rights”. Tom Reagan. Wild animals do not belong to us whereas we use our labor. As soon as government steps in and requires factory farms to treat their animals appropriately—for instance.unless or until we are given such a difference I think reason compels us to aver that. the proposed view offers a solution to this problem. So we have an obligation to satisfy the negative duties corresponding to wild animals’ right to life at least in the form of non-interference even if we do not have such an obligation in the case of domestic animals There is no morally relevant difference between humans and animals that dejustify rights. etc. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. p. But she leaves in mist the answer to the question: how extensive are our positive duties towards animals? By drawing a distinction between wild animals and domestic animals. “The Environmental Effects of Cruelty to Agricultural Animals”.a difference.

on the other hand. it is crucial that the political culture in which they live make a big effort to extend to them the fullest benefits of citizenship they can attain.14 New York. her ability to have a family all may be threatened by her disabilities. in a way that the normal functioning of a chimpanzee in the community of chimpanzees is not threatened by its cognitive endowment. or killing any animal. it is generally a crime not to provide necessary sustenance. And capacities that humans sometimes arrogantly claim for themselves alone are found very widely in nature. Cass Sunstein. conditions that can come about through neglect. That is relevant when we consider issues of basic justice. forbids overworking an animal.9 People who transport an animal on railroads or cars are required to allow the animal out for rest. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. and food. There is something blighted and disharmonious in her life. A chimpanzee flourishes in its own way. shelter. are not matters of basic justice. communicating with its own community in a perfectly adequate manner that has gone on for ages.12 Another provision forbids people from torturing. PlanetDebate. it seems to me that expensive efforts to teach language. feeding. which imposes criminal liability on negligent as well as intentional overworking. New York contains a representative set of provisions. They have no option of flourishing as happy chimpanzees. like most states. The University of Chicago Law Review." 55 . but for the disability. or in such a way as to subject it to torture or suffering. Issue 2. For children born with Down syndrome. education. 2006. including a pet. or using the animal for work when she or he is not physically fit. shelter. food. “The Rights of Animals”.'3In deed. For a chimpanzee. What type of significance is that? There is much to be learned from reflection on the continuum of life. she might have had. That is so because they can flourish only as human beings. overdriving. Number 1. and also requires people to provide adequate food and drink." Those who abandon an animal in public places. Her social and political functioning. Capacities do crisscross and overlap: A chimpanzee may have more capacity for empathy and perspectival thinking than a very young child. But it seems wrong to conclude from such facts that species membership is morally and politically irrelevant.10 Nonowners who have impounded or confined an animal are obliged to provide good air. A child with mental disabilities is actually very different from a chimpanzee. and the like. “The Moral Status of Animals”. beating. though in certain respects some of her capacities may be comparable. state anticruelty laws go well beyond pro-hibiting beating.15 Compare in this regard the unusually protective California statute. or torturing of animals. Volume 70. water. but to include any act or omission "whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted. water. the species norm (duly evaluated) tells us what the appropriate benchmark is for judging whether a given creature has decent opportunities for flourishing. Chronicle of Higher Education. face criminal penalties. 2003 In the United States. while interesting and revealing for human scientists. whereas the life of a chimpanzee may be perfectly flourishing. injuring. maiming. through health benefits. Animal rights legislation is already on the books. and protection from severe weather. her friendships.Minh A. and water every five hours. or than an older child with autism. and impose affirmative duties on people who have animals in their care.com 55 Differing human capabilities still justify animal rights. In short. Volume 52. and re-education of public culture.'6 "Torture" is defined not in its ordinary language sense. Such a child's life is difficult in a way that the life of a chimpanzee is not difficult: She is cut off from forms of flourishing that. Criminal penalties are imposed on anyone who transports an animal in a cruel or inhumane manner. Martha Nussbaum.

I am urging that we extend to other species the basic principle of equality that most of us recognize should be extended to all members of our own species. a suit could be brought. Cass Sunstein. On this view. this objection seems to be a variant of the view that animals cannot have rights because they can-not speak. Peter Singer. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Peter Singer and Tom Regan. Practices that were previously regarded as natural and inevitable come to be seen as the result of an unjustifiable prejudice. assuming. it cannot be reasonable to require that animals be able to do so. Volume 70. 2003 If the suffering of animals matters. this one too will not withs-tand a moment's serious reflection. we can find a slightly less minimal understanding of animal rights. In this way we may come to see that there is a case for a new liberation movement. Volume 5. as we popularly though misleadingly call them. PlanetDebate. and. for ex-ample.com 56 Animal rights are justified by principles of equality. Who can say with confidence that all his or her attitudes and practices are beyond criticism? If we wish to avoid being numbered amongst the oppressors. Tom Reagan. Thus. The University of Chicago Law Review. what it says on paper. Animal Rights and Human Obligations. Giving animals the right to legal standing would protect more rights. a farm is treating horses cruelly and in violation of legal requirements. on behalf of those animals. For there are many human beings who cannot speak or claim their rights . Number 1.and every reasonable person seems to think that it does-we should be greatly troubled by these limitations. Reforms might be adopted with the limited pur-pose of stopping conduct that is already against the law. 1989. “The Rights of Animals”. My aim is to advocate that we make this mental switch in respect of our attitudes and practices towards a very large group of beings: members of species other than our own—or. like this more general view. 1975 The first declares that animals cannot have rights because they lack the capacity to claim them.htm A liberation movement demands an expansion of our moral horizons and an extension or reinterpretation of the basic moral principle of equality. we must be prepared to re-think even our most fundamental attitudes.Minh A. Here. if they are to possess this (or any other) right. to bring about compliance with the law. Eds. and the practices that follow from these attitudes. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. in practice. so that the law actually means.20 Now. as we are. for example . Not being able to demand a right does not dejustify animal rights. We need to consider them from the point of view of those most disadvantaged by our attitudes. http://www. Number 2. 56 . if a human being can possess this (or any other right) without being able to demand it.and yet who would not be denied the right in question.com/texts-m/singer02. The least controversial response would be to narrow the "enforcement gap. that it is supposed to be a right possessed by all human beings. In other words. then. If. animals. “Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”." by allowing private suits to be brought in cases of cruelty and neglect.animal-rights-library. “All Animals are Equal”.tiny infants. representatives of animals should be able to bring private suits to ensure that anticruelty and related laws are actually enforced. If we can make this unaccustomed mental switch we may discover a pattern in our attitudes and practices that consistently operates so as to benefit one group—usually the one to which we ourselves belong—at the expense of another.

Since a man cannot have an abortion.com 57 If different groups of humans can have special rights. Or imagine a person whose vocal chords have been damaged to such an extent that he no longer has the ability to utter words or even make inarticulate sounds. Tom Reagan. "Ah. and the supporters of Women's Liberation are aware that these differences may give rise to different rights. or grant exactly the same rights to both groups. then the same standard should apply to animals as well. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. There is no reason why either Women's Liberation or Animal Liberation should get involved in such nonsense. 1975 Let us ask. Number 2. and equal consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights. Many feminists hold that women have the right to an abortion on request. for all that.htm The thought behind this reply to Taylor's analogy is correct up to a point. we could give him something for his pain. we do not say "My oh my. Peter Singer. but it does not go far enough. should it be any different in the case of animals? It would seem to be the height of human arrogance. in short. The lack of language does not dejustify animal rights. it is meaningless to talk of its right to vote. If humans can experience pain without being logically required to be able to say so. what we may not be in a position to say of animals. and whose arms have been paralyzed so that he cannot write. the lad certainly has a fine potential for feeling pain/' We say he really is feeling it. For when the infant screams for all he is worth. too. does not depend on his being able to perform one or another linguistic feat. Whether or not a person is experiencing pain. stronger still. http://www. The extension of the basic principle of equality from one group to another does not imply that we must treat both groups in exactly the same way. is no barrier to the case for extending the basic principle of equality to nonhuman animals. 1989. The differences that exist between men and women are equally undeniable. But this cannot help the Cartesian. The basic principle of equality. despite the fact that he has lost the ability to say so. and these differences must give rise to some differences in the rights that each have." to erect a double standard here. True. It seems he is not. if only he could still speak. and when we find the diaper pin piercing his side. but who. re-quiring that animals meet a standard not set for humans. “All Animals are Equal”. however. is equality of consideration.Minh A.animal-rights-library. since he cannot speak. There are important differences between humans and other animals. As it is." We say he is in pain. Peter Singer and Tom Regan. animals can. Whether we should do so will depend on the nature of the members of the two groups. or in other ways to use a language. Since a pig can't vote.com/texts-m/singer02. Why. We do not say. twists and turns on his bed. suppose that. then. there's nothing we need give him. It does not follow that since these same people are campaigning for equality between men and women they must support the right of men to have abortions too. Recognizing this obvious fact. Eds. and yet we do not. when they fill the air with their piercing cries. Infants. PlanetDebate. then. I shall argue. Animal Rights and Human Obligations. they are not (or. whether Descartes is correct in holding that only a being who can use a language can experience pain. we can say of infants. for example. grimaces and sobs. For he feels no pain. cannot possibly be) in pain. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. Volume 5. rather than of Pythagorean "superstition. 57 . are not able to describe the loca-tion and character of their pains. that they have the potential to learn to use a language. “Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”. when his tooth abcesses. it is meaningless to talk of his right to have one.

for example. as well as other relevant considerations. Number 1. Animal Rights and Human Obligations.com 58 Animal rights do not require animals to be eaten. morally speaking. it is alleged. So too for other animals in farms. they should happen to cause us undeserved pain. even if. we would have to stop demanding equality. Peter Singer and Tom Regan. is not capable of making decisions from the moral point of view. Animals killing animals does not dejustify animal rights. then. creed. nor is a wolf the kind of being that can be held morally responsible. If sheep are going to be used to create clothing. 1989. differing abilities to communicate effectively. The severely mentally feeble. Well. For as they are not the kind of being that can be held responsible for what they do. differing amounts of benevolent feeling and sensitivity to the needs of others. 1975 For if. the lamb can have rights against. what. For the lamb can have rights only against those beings who are capable of tak-ing the interests of the lamb into account and trying to determine. it is not necessar-ily impermissible to kill animals and use them for food. thus. In short. inegalitarian society have often pointed out that by whatever test we choose. say. and differing capacities to experience pleasure and pain. PlanetDebate. if the demand for equality were based on the actual equality of all human beings. The University of Chicago Law Review. Eds. Volume 70. is absurd.htm When we say that all human beings. then. ought to be done. We might ban hunting altogether. This. are equal. But even supposing that it is. their conditions should be conducive to their welfare. but it is en-tirely impermissible to be indifferent to their interests while they are alive. I think it would be agreed. whatever their race.Minh A. they cannot be expected to recognize our rights. absurd it may be to say that the wolf violates the lamb's right.) Differing human capabilities show that animal rights can be justified. Cass Sunstein. and so. lack the requisite powers to act morally. without the benefit of anaesthetic. can it make sense to say that the lamb has any rights against the wolf. It would be an unjustifiable demand. “All Animals are Equal”. Number 2. nor can they be said to violate our rights. 2003 If we focus on suffering. who devours it unmercifully. (Should animals be hunted and killed sim-ply because people enjoy hunting and killing them? The issue would be different if hunting and killing could be justified as having impor-tant functions. neither. for example. is the attribution of rights to animals. what is it that we are asserting? Those who wish to defend a hierarchical. the search for food. 58 . nothing said here implies that such deeds on the part of the wolf violate the lamb's rights. http://www. even or perhaps especially if they are being used for the benefit of human beings. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. the only kind of being against which another being can have rights is a being that can be held to be morally responsible for its actions. But a wolf. it simply is not true that all humans are equal. such as control of populations. “The Rights of Animals”. then the wolf.com/texts-m/singer02. Thus. say.animal-rights-library. Volume 5. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. Like it or not. we must face the fact that humans come in different shapes and sizes. should be said to violate the lamb's right. differing intellectual abilities. as I believe we should. a lamb has the natural right to be spared undeserved pain. at least if its sole pur-pose is human recreation. Peter Singer. they come with differing moral capacities. “Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”. or sex. most adult human beings. neither can they be said to violate anyone's rights by what they do. This situation has its counterpart in human affairs. In other words. Tom Reagan. or protection of human beings against animal violence. on the basis of its interests.

http://www. how can it entitle humans to exploit nonhumans? Fulfillment of higher order pleasures does not dejustify animal rights. no matter how "high" the quality of the pleasure might be supposed to be.animal-rights-library. 1989. 59 . http://www. undeserved pain but which brings about. A mouse. Volume 5. does have an interest in not being tormented. or for higher mathematics. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Peter Singer. we need to ask whether we would approve of such a practice simply on the grounds that it produces this kind of pleasure in whatever amount might be hypothesized. “All Animals are Equal”. “All Animals are Equal”. I think. gratuitous and that the natural right to be spared undeserved pain. This is the principle that no practice which causes undeserved. Eds. therefore. Number 2. If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his own ends. Eds. 1975 For even if we assume. The capacity for suffering—or more strictly. Tom Reagan. Peter Singer and Tom Regan. Nothing that we can do to it could possibly make any difference to its welfare. high intellectual pleasures for other human beings. is being violated. this objection must. Peter Singer and Tom Regan. To test this contention we need merely to ask whether we would approve of a practice which causes some humans to suffer non-trivial.Minh A. more particularly.com/texts-m/singer02. It would be nonsense to say that it was not in the interests of a stone to be kicked along the road by a schoolboy.htm It is an implication of this principle of equality that our concern for others ought not to depend on what they are like. My belief is that we would not approve of it. because it will suffer if it is. It is on this basis that the case against racism and the case against sexism must both ultimately rest.htm In this passage Bentham points to the capacity for suffering as the vital characteristic that gives a being the right to equal consideration. “Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”. Animal Rights and Human Obligations. what is debatable. on the other hand. a condition that must be satisfied before we can speak of interests in any meaningful way. Capacity to suffer is what justifies animal moral standing. Animal Rights and Human Obligations. My belief is that the pain is not justified by these higher pleasures . A stone does not have interests because it cannot suffer.animal-rights-library. Bentham is not saying that those who try to mark "the insuperable line" that determines whether the interests of a being should be considered happen to have selected the wrong characteristic.com 59 If discriminating against people is wrong. assuming that humans have this right.that the pain is. that pleasures can differ qualitatively one from another.com/texts-m/singer02. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. and it is in accordance with this principle that speciesism is also to be condemned. The capacity for suffering and enjoying things is a prerequisite for having interests at all. Peter Singer. say. non-trivial pain can be justified solely on the grounds of the amount of pleasure it brings about for others. then discrimination against animals is wrong. offend a moral principle to which we would all sub-scribe. for suffering and/or enjoyment or happiness—is not just another characteristic like the capacity for language. 1989. or what abilities they possess—although precisely what this concern requires us to do may vary according to the characteristics of those affected by what we do. PlanetDebate.

it does not follow that all plants are trees. But it certainly does not follow from this that animals have rights because it is certainly not true that every obligation of ours arises from the rights of another. standing alone. both ancient and modern: the inner consciousness of a free will (Saint Augustine3). Some obligations.14 While the capacity for suffering may be a common denominator of humans and animals. Human beings are self-legislative. Suffering cannot be sufficient to justify animal rights. Whether or not animals suffer. be the sole tool with which access to legal rights and remedies is analyzed. 1997. Similarly. morally auto-nomous. and is easily polemicized. The attributes of human beings from which this moral capability arises have been described variously by philosophers. as the logicians say. however. humans — but certainly not dogs or mice — lay down moral laws. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. David R. Carl Cohen. few will deny that. PlanetDebate. Most influential has been Immanuel Kant's emphasis on the universal human possession of a uniquely moral will and the autonomy its use entails. Not all obligations to animals would necessarily entail rights. 60 . Volume 22.9 Humans confront choices that are purely moral. Volume 7. Polacheck. Schmahmann and Lori J. but they have not the right to demand that I do so.13 the ability to suffer cannot. As interesting as it is to dwell on the relative capacities for suffering of various species12 and the possibility that some animals may suffer less under human control than when left alone. Ethics and Behavior. Carl Cohen. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. legal rights have their origins in and are intertwined with a multitude of complex and subtle concepts that may include. Civil servants and elected officials surely ought to be courteous to members of the public. of the binding character of moral law (Saint Thomas4). But many obligations are owed to persons or other beings who have no rights whatever in the matter. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. “The Case for the use of Animals in Biomedical Research”. the grasp. 1986. Number 2. No issue. suffering. for others and for themselves. not all obligations are entailed by rights. like mine to repay the money I borrowed from you. From the true proposition that all trees are plants. intuitive cognition of the Tightness of an action (Prichard8). Rights entail obligations.Minh A. the self-conscious participation of human beings in an objective ethical order (Hegel5). human membership in an organic moral community (Bradley6). If we have the right to speak freely on public policy matters. But the proposition all rights entail obligations does not convert simply. Not at all. 1995. only begins the analysis. The New England Journal of Medicine. by human reason. Number 14. I have an obligation to repay it. do arise out of rights. the community has the obligation to respect our right to do so. Volume 315. If you have a right to the return of the money I borrowed. the development of the hu-man self through the consciousness of other moral selves (Mead7). Obligations may arise from commitments freely made: As a college professor I accept the obligation to comment at length on the papers my students submit. and I do so.com 60 Negative  Quotations     Only humans can have morality. We need to be clear and careful here. but are in no means limited to. and the underivative. Many obligations are owed by humans to animals. “Do Animals Have Rights?”. but that obligation certainly is not grounded in citizens' rights.

it is the aggregate of these characteristics that does render humans fundamentally. and with pride I shall—but he has not the authority to demand such help as a matter of right. the concept would lose much of its force. which do not flow from the rights of those dogs or horses. Volume 22. Leslie Pickering Francis and Richard Norman.Minh A. By equating the cause of animal welfare with genuine liberation movements such as black liberation. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. I will then have the obligation to help him as I can. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. to argue the justice of its case. however. putting them on a level with what cannot but appear as a bizarre exaggeration. It appeals to the possibilities for fully human and equal relations between those who are currently oppressors and oppressed. Schmahmann and Lori J. 1997. 1995. Every individual member of every species would have recognized claims against human beings and the state. Why then has our emphasis been predominantly negative? The phrase 'animal liberation' says it all. 1978. needs. Consider the consequences of a theory which does not distinguish between animal life and human life for purposes of identifying and enforcing legal rights.com 61 Comparing animal rights to the struggle for human rights is an exaggeration. importantly. even though it is also beyond question that in individual instances-for example. or gay liberation. and human rights would suffer as a consequence. women's liberation. “Some Animals are more Equal than Others”. but the guest has not the right to demand cordiality. Number 206. As the concept of rights expanded to include the "claims" of all living creatures. that human institutions are morally flawed because they rest on assumptions regarding the aggregate of human abilities. Number 2. Volume 7. PlanetDebate. and actions is to deny such institutions the capacity to draw any distinctions at all. and their moral implications. Ethics and Behavior. A real liberation movement is an attempt by an oppres-sed or exploited group to protest against its exploitation. however. and perhaps other animals as well. in the case of vegetative individuals.some animals may indeed have higher cognitive skills than some humans. The sum of the differences between humans and animals justifies different rights. now 5. as well as anything. and cowboys to their horses. At the same time the equation has the effect of trivializing those real liberation move-ments. 61 . The fact that so-called 'animal liberation' could not conceivably be understood in these terms illustrates. Volume 53. Liberation movements have a character and a degree of moral importance which cannot be possessed by a movement to prevent cruelty to animals. In the end. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. Special relations often give rise to obligations: Hosts have the obligation to be cordial to their guests. To argue on that basis alone. People can have special obligations to animals without giving them rights. and to organize in order to achieve its own liberation. David R. My dog has no right to daily exercise and veterinary care. the inescapable differences between human beings and animals. My son. may someday wish to study veterinary medicine as my father did. Carl Cohen. but I do have the obligation to provide those things for her. and unbridgeably different from animals. Polacheck. Singer on the one hand presents in an implausible guise the quite valid concern to prevent cruelty to animals. “Do Animals Have Rights?”. Philosophy. Shepherds have obligations to their dogs.

Number 2. it is. those who made animal happiness their business: veterinarians.com 62 Rights only apply to humans. 1997. Carl Cohen. there is no morality for them. “Do Animals Have Rights?”. and extremely common. we ought to intervene. is the prey. a human moral world. the humane movement has demonized. Number 2. Try this thought experiment. Humans must deal with rats—all too frequently in some parts of the world—and must be moral in their dealing with them. A baby zebra. Animals cannot be the bearers of rights because the concept of rights is essentially human. Imagine. Volume 7. and the like. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. in this century and the last. and has force within. a lioness hunting for her cubs. The logic of the animal-rights movement places suffering at the icono-graphic center of a skewed value system. Vicki Hearne. Today the loudest voices calling for—demanding—the destruction of animals are the humane organizations. of course—as we surely would intervene if we saw the lioness about to attack an unprotected human baby or you. trainers. Volume 7. Ethics and Behavior. “What’s Wrong with Animal Rights”. We think of Louis Pasteur as the man whose work saved you and me and your dog and cat from rabies. If the zebra has a right to live. and departs. This is an inevitable consequence of the apotheosis of the drive to relieve suffering: Death is the ultimate release. but zebras and lions and rats are totally amoral. The thinking of its proponents—given eerie expression in a virtually sado-pornographic sculpture of a tortured monkey that won a prize for its compassionate vision—has collapsed into a perverse conundrum. Ethics and Behavior. on behalf of right. if the prey is just but the predator unjust. the lioness snatches it. What accounts for the moral difference? We justify different responses to humans and to zebras on the ground (implicit or explicit) that their moral stature is very different. tears out chunks of its flesh. they do no wrong. ever. if we can. but antivivisec-tionists of the time claimed that rabies increased in areas where there were Pasteur Institutes. Harper’s Magazine. The human has a right not to be eaten alive. yes. The mother zebra is driven nearly out of her wits when she cannot locate her baby. on the Serengeti Plain in East Africa. 1997. Rights are of the highest moral consequence. To say of a rat that it has rights is to confuse categories.Minh A. Animal rights would lead to ludicrous conclusions. it is rooted in. a human being. finding its carcass she will not even leave the remains for days. after all. momentarily left unattended by its mother. that neither has a right against the other. but it is entirely natural. Carl Cohen. but a rat can no more be said to have rights than a table can be said to have ambition. To compensate for their contradictions. of course. But we do not intervene. confronted by such natural rapacity—duplicated with untold variety millions of times each day on planet earth—that neither is right or wrong. 62 . I am on your side. rips open its throat. Do you believe the baby zebra has the right not to be slaughtered by that lioness? That the lioness has the right to kill that baby zebra for her cubs? If you are inclined to say. to apply to its world a moral category that has content only in the human moral world. In their world there are no rights. The scene may be thought unpleasant. PlanetDebate. “Do Animals Have Rights?”. September 1991. Animal rights movements are hypocritical.

or of the future. we ought forever put aside. Philosophy. the extreme positions of animal rights activists devalue human life and detract from human rights. “Some Animals are more Equal than Others”. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. that they really have a consciousness of self. Volume 22. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. 1978. “Do Animals Have Rights?”. Schmahmann and Lori J. or make plans. and so on. Volume 7. so also is the development of economic relations which depend upon it.3! "The belief that human life. These forms of doctrinaire "animal rightism" ignore the value that society has placed on human life which enables society to function in an orderly fashion.com 63 Human life is more valuable than animal life. or merits—that makes humans bearers of rights. what is one to make of animals that kill each other and the often arbitrary nature of life and death and survival of the fittest in the wild? What is one to make of the conflict between the seeming arbitrariness of the killing that takes place in nature and the ethical content of human existence that starts with the certainty that the life of every individual person is uniquely sacred? The moral sphere of rights only applies to humans. Number 2. In so far as such communication is impossible. one can question the possibility of extended relationships. for human infants (and the comatose and senile. PlanetDebate. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. David R. one might even challenge the possibility of exploiting animals." Objections of this kind miss the point badly. Animals cannot be exploited. 63 . it is the fact that all humans including infants and the senile are members of that moral community—not the fact that as individuals they have or do not have certain special capacities. Volume 53. and they fail to see that rights arise only in a community of moral beings. in a moral sphere. Ethics and Behavior. It is not individual persons who qualify (or are disqualified) for the possession of rights because of the presence or absence in them of some special capacity. Number 206. is sacrosanct is a form of speciesism. Rights are universally human. In effect. thus resulting in the award of rights to some but not to others. Of course. They mistakenly suppose that rights are tied to some identifiable individual abilities or sensibilities. In the human world moral judgments are pervasive. "This can't be correct. what most disturbs the vegetarian is not that we do not talk to animals. Yet here too.) surely have rights. etc. 1995. Polacheck. Leslie Pickering Francis and Richard Norman. it is beside the point to insist that animals have remarkable capacities. Carl Cohen.32 But if the sacredness of all life is equivalent. Along these lines. Responses like these arise out of a misconception of right itself. but that we exploit them. Reciprocal exchange and co-operative production are dependent upon communication of a relatively sophisticated kind. if exploitation involves the distortion or misuse of underlying possibilities for reciprocal economic endeavour." Singer writes. and that therefore there are spheres in which rights do apply and spheres in which they do not. And the tired response that because infants plainly cannot make moral claims they must have no rights at all. 1997.Minh A. but they make no moral claims or judgments and can make none—and any view entailing that children can have no rights must be absurd. Therefore. Some respond by saying. or rats must have them too. and only human life. they arise in a human moral world.

or your book. but of moral duties that govern us. Volume 7. Most of the recent propaganda about pit bulls—the crazy claim that they "take hold with their front teeth while they chew away with their rear teeth" (which would imply. because moral autonomy is uniquely human and is for animals out of the question. Polacheck. “Do Animals Have Rights?”.33 "Seeing no other possibility for the preservation of biological diversity on earth than a drastic decline in the number of humans. in a genuine crime. Carl Cohen. and she certainly can communicate. Nor is the capacity to suffer here at issue. September 1991. if autonomy be understood only as the capacity to choose this course rather than that. 1997. moral self-legislation—is to the point. no rat or cow ever can possess. But whether a crime has been committed depends utterly on the moral state of mind of the actor. My dog can reason. That recognition.com 64 Rationality and autonomy do not justify animal rights. Sometimes the statements of contemporary radical environmentalists and animal rights activists display a profound misanthropy. England still has her cruel and unnecessary law that requires an animal to spend six months in quarantine before being allowed loose in the country. Number 2. PlanetDebate. Since animals cannot violate rights. Animal rights activists want to violate human rights. autonomy is not to the point either. or the horse attracts flies—it will be the local Humane Society to whom your neighbors turn for action. We chuckle at that practice now. and these rights can be violated by other humans. Beauchamp (this issue) said. we must be careful and precise. "If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human population back to ecological sanity. Schmahmann and Lori J. Ethics and Behavior. But moral autonomy—that is. Rationality is not at issue. as we have seen. And. “What’s Wrong with Animal Rights”. if rather weakly. If your neighbors want your dog or horse impounded and destroyed because he is a nuisance—say the dog barks. I do not steal it. Indeed they are. The actus reus (the guilty deed) must be accompanied. Volume 22. Volume 7."34 Ingrid Newkirk has commented that even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS. honestly thinking it was mine. they cannot possess them. therefore. Ethics and Behavior. In primitive times humans did sometimes bring cows and horses to the bar of human justice. Harper’s Magazine. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. we say that some humans commit crimes. If I take your coat. and as Regan and I agree. the capacity to communicate is not at issue. Cognitive criteria for the possession of rights. David R. are morally perilous. 1997." writes one author using the pseudonym Miss Ann Thropy. In talking about autonomy. Miss Ann Thropy contends that AIDS is ideal for the task primarily because 'the disease only affects humans' and shows promise for wiping out large numbers of humans. 1995. it would probably be something like AIDS. Animals 64 . Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review."3 The animal rights movement is hypocritical. “Do Animals Have Rights?”. that they have double jaws)—can be traced to literature published by the Humane Society of the United States during the fall of 1987 and earlier.Minh A. realizing that accusing cows of crimes marks the primitive moral view as inane. incorrectly. a mens rea. PETA would "be against it. Number 2. not just of possible punishment for an act. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Because humans do have rights. An anti-rabies public-relations campaign mounted in England in the 1880s by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and other organizations led to orders being issued to club any dog found not wearing a muzzle. Carl Cohen. by a guilty mind. Vicki Hearne.

PlanetDebate. So it is with rights also. Animals cannot possess rights because animals are in no way a part of any of these processes. the fact that debate exists about the ethical consequences of such differences is almost distinction enough. of subject and attribute. In the Third Part of The Critique of Pure Reason. The misapplication of concepts leads to error and. What we are suggesting is that. 1978. they add up to a network of relations which may quite generally justify human beings in attaching greater weight to the interests of other human beings than to those of animals. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. is that communicative. Our claim. Giving animals rights is a misapplication of ethical principles. 1997. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. economic. Kant patiently exhibited as confusions arising from the misapplication of the categories of experience. Carl Cohen. fundamental.36 Humans have unique characteristics that justify prioritizing their interests. Time is the condition of our experience. Volume 53. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. The point is that reverence for human life must be both the starting point and the reference point for any ethical philosophy and system of law that does not immediately become unhitched from its moorings in civilization. On the other hand. forgetting that these are concepts arising only within the world of our human experience. any duties we may have respecting our treatment of animals derive from the fact that we are part of these processes. political and familial relations are far more widespread among human beings (including infants) than between human beings and animals. taken together. the relations of cause and effect. This ability to recognize gradations and competing interests is what defines the rules that we live by and the system of rights and responsibilities that comprise our legal system. 1995. David R. not an absolute container in which the world could have begun. we sometimes are misled into asking: Was the world caused. In other words. we are offering this as a plausible ground for rejecting Singer's principle of equal consideration. sometimes. Human rights are the only legitimate basis for ethics. for example. Number 2. But. Polacheck. then. and it is a unique feature of humankind to recognize ethical subtleties. Volume 22. Leslie Pickering Francis and Richard Norman. and after those the paralogisms of pure reason. To say that rats have rights is to apply to the world of rats a concept that makes good sense when applied to humans. are essential. With respect to animals and their similarities to humans. The antinomies of pure reason. Ethics and Behavior. His lesson is powerful and deep. In our human experience. to nonsense. and others. Mistakes parallel to this in other spheres may be helpful to think about. Number 206. It is we-humans-who are having the debate.Minh A. or did it not? Kant explained—in one of the most brilliant long passages in all philosophical literature—why it makes no sense to ask such questions. Volume 7. We have noted various rela-tively uncontroversial ways in which such relations are regularly taken to have a moral significance. Schmahmann and Lori J. “Some Animals are more Equal than Others”. or is it uncaused? Did the world have a beginning in time. 65 . Immanuel Kant explained with care the metaphysical blunders into which we are led when we misapply concepts of great human import. it is a category of our experience and cannot apply to the world as a whole. “Do Animals Have Rights?”. Cause applies to phenomena we humans encounter in the world. the concepts of time and space. but which makes no sense at all when applied to rats. Philosophy. not animals.com 65 never can be criminals because they have no moral state of mind. Singer's dismissal of "fine phrases" notwithstanding.

or afraid. They can share each other's experiences and aspirations. Harper’s Magazine. They wonder. September 1991. animals have rights. Volume 22. 66 . of course. in part because the philosophical problems that plague academicians of the animal-rights movement are illuminating. he/she can appropriately ask 'How could I explain and justify to the other person my way of acting? Could I do it by appeal to rational principles which the other person would accept?' More generally it makes sense to ask what principles human beings could agree on to regulate their behaviour towards one another. (Nor does the word 'can' here indicate merely an option which may or may not be exercised. Volume 53. Schmahmann and Lori J. they dismiss that question as obvious (yes.com 66 Animal rights lead to the trivialization of rights. I want to leave the philosophers behind. “Some Animals are more Equal than Others”."46 Morrison also recounts how the appearance of penicillin and the sulfonamides '''did not fall into our laps'" but were the product of "'[g]enerations of energetic and imaginative investigators [who] exhausted their whole lives on the problem. David R. None of this applies to the interactions between human beings and animals. in a strong sense.) Moreover. Morrison. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. Number 206. that can be traced directly to animal research.43 Dr. This leads to the issuance of bills of rights—the right to an environment. Animal research is necessary. the right not to be used in medical experiments—and other forms of trivialization. “What’s Wrong with Animal Rights”. Philosophy. 1978. some of them spectacular. "41% of the papers reporting work judged to be fundamentally important to the 10 most important advances in cardiology were concerned with studies that sought knowledge for the sake of knowledge itself. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. The rudimentary levels of communication between human beings and animals make possible no more than an equally rudimentary 'sympathy' for the plight of an animal. and can 'feel for' it. Polacheck.44 In turn. to encounter the joys or sufferings of another human being without in any way internalizing them would normally require the deliberate inhibition of one's reactions. they can imagine themselves in each other's positions. because human beings communicate with one another. in Understanding (and Misunderstanding) the Animal Rights Movement in the United States. Vicki Hearne. prima facie) and proceed to enumerate them. Morrison notes that most basic medical research relies upon studies using animals. Adrian R. When one human being acts in a certain way towards another. most medical advances rely upon basic medical research. but I cannot. PlanetDebate. The degree of human communication makes it possible for human beings to identify with one another. they can also justify themselves to one another. But any more developed identification with the experiences of an animal would be likely to be the product of fantasy. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. if these rightists lead particularly unexamined lives."'47 Andrew Rowan lists the medical advances. describes the importance of basic animal research to advances in medicine. James Madison style. Leslie Pickering Francis and Richard Norman. It overlooks a staggering amount of basic research to say that modern medicine began with the era of antibiotics. do animals have rights or do they have interests? Or. A human being can appreciate that an animal is in pain.48 Animals’ inability to communicate justifies denying them rights.Minh A.45 For example. 1995.

referring to historical descriptions of "'infants with ears streaming pus."51 humanity's movement from such miseries is irrelevant. is not one of them. which warrants the claim of human rights. in Sense 2. Asali. For those who make it to two. but here. does not ground the possession of rights. has nothing to do with the moral condition in which rights arise. also common and also plausible. My dog has inherent value. not replaceable in itself by another animal or by any rocks or clay.49 Morrison. The animal rightists' second line of argument is a fallback to the notion that human health does not justify animal suffering. and again likely to be thought plausible. even in the case of food animals. September 1991. The uniqueness of animals. but it doesn't hurt nearly as much as some of the cunningly cruel arrangements meted out by "Mother Nature. or heads and necks scarred from boils or suppurating glands. The consequences of abandoning animal testing would be disastrous. the movie and TV lioness. faces pocked by smallpox or eroded by lupus. “What’s Wrong with Animal Rights”. 67 . One cannot argue with this proposition without returning full circle to where we began in this Article-a reasonable reverence for human life must come first in a human philosophical perspective. Dorset sheep and polfed Here. Animals may live better lives in captivity than in the wild. 1997. Ethics and Behavior. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. however.. David R. or exotic animals who perform in movies and circuses. Schmahmann and Lori J. possessed by all humans but not by all animals."50 To those who believe the statement that "[a] life is a life . Harper’s Magazine. the phrase inherent value means something quite distinct from what was meant in its earlier uses. The calculus of suffering can be turned against the philosophers of festering flesh. like humans.com 67 The inherent value of animals does not justify giving them rights. Vicki Hearne. beards growing from heavily infected skin. is very different from inherent value in Sense 2. it wouldn't make any difference to me. and as unique living creatures they have inherent value. was still working at age twenty-one. the average age at death is ten years. every lion and zebra. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Asali's trainer. There are fates worse than death. they live. [i]f the death of one rat cured all diseases. It is true that it hurts to be slaughtered by man. Carl Cohen. he quickly asserted (putting it in italics lest the reader be inclined to express doubt) that rats and rabbits also have rights because they. Volume 22. Polacheck. 1995. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. Regan's argument reached its critical objective with almost magical speed because. Number 2. but twenty-one years of a close working relationship with Hubert Wells." In Africa. This is an important point. which is why the senseless killing of animals is so repugnant. having argued that beings with inherent value (Sense 1) have rights that must be respected.'" describes us as ''the healthiest generation in history.fords would not exist at all were they not in a symbiotic relationship with human beings. and so does every wild animal. Inherent value in Sense 1. 75 percent of the lions cubbed do not survive to the age of two. have inherent value (Sense 2). Animals. are not just things. schoolboys with facial impetigo. which warrants no such claim. Each animal is unique.Minh A. The expression inherent value has another sense. too. “Do Animals Have Rights?”. PlanetDebate. Volume 7. their intrinsic worthiness as individual living things..

55 Those qualities that lead scientists to seek further knowledge. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. The notion contemplates the creation of a vast. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. The New England Journal of Medicine. “The Case for the use of Animals in Biomedical Research”. Legal rights for animals would lead to ridiculous conclusions. Schmahmann and Lori J. and often animal. 1995. after all. David R. People who claim to speak for animal rights are increasingly devoted to the idea that the very keeping of a dog or a horse or a gerbil or a lion is in and of itself an offense. Carl Cohen. nonhuman animals. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. 1986.for its own sake or to better the human. the ordinary sense of that word) lack this capacity for free moral judgment.Minh A. the holders of rights must recognize possible conflicts between what is in their own interest and what is just. Volume 22. wolves—and wolves someplace else—to Airedales and. the less likely they are to be in a rights relation to any given animal. Schmahmann and Lori J. urged that domestic pets be spayed and neutered and ultimately phased out. Vicki Hearne. Number 14. In applying such rules. Only in a community of beings capable of selfrestricting moral judgments can the concept of a right be correctly invoked. The selection of animal research facilities as a target for activism is also consistent with the antiintellectual bias of the animal rights movement itself.com 68 Animal rights would dejustify pet ownership. unprecedented. it appears. She prefers. Polacheck. the national director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Animals (that is. by a logic whose interior structure is both emotionally and intellectually forever closed to Drummer. because they are spending so much time in airplanes or transmitting fax announcements of the latest Sylvester Stallone anti-fur rally. This is the core of the argument about the alleged rights of animals. In a 1988 Harper's forum. They are not beings of a kind capable of exercising or responding to moral claims. and they can have none. September 1991. claims thereby to be speaking for "animal rights. and uncircumscribable jurisprudence in which the government erects barriers to human conduct on the strength. Animals therefore have no rights. condition-are precisely the human traits that animal rights activists brand as speceisist and pointless. governing all including themselves. Harper’s Magazine. The holders of rights must have the capacity to comprehend rules of duty. PlanetDebate. David R. so they can’t have rights. The question which must arise in the context of any proposal that the government endow rights on animals is how such a notion can be reconciled with the very definition of "rights" in a constitutional democracy. a central feature of all nonspeciesist analysis. The more loudly they speak. The movement downplays intellect and its accompanying curiosities and ambiguities as a distinguishing feature of humankind. “What’s Wrong with Animal Rights”. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review." Animal rights theories discount the human pursuit of knowledge. Ingrid Newkirk. Volume 315. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. Animals lack the capability for moral judgment. 1995. presumably to be exercised on behalf of an entirely new and vague constituency. for example. The notion that there is nothing sacred about the right to pursue knowledge is. intrusive. not of competing 68 . Polacheck. Volume 22. Any real acceptance of the notion must mean reposing in the government a wholly new and undefined set of powers.

They are in this sense self-legislative. are members of communities governed by moral rules.com 69 human interests-be they economic. Animals do not have such moral capacities. In conducting research on animal subjects. also possess the "right to life"10 is an abuse of that phrase. Volume 315. Certainly not. because they have none to violate. cannot possibly be members of a truly moral community. David R. Animals do not have rights. the result would be the creation of a vast. Number 14. Not only may this be impossible. we have obligations that do not arise from claims against us based on rights. Number 14. But the possession of rights presupposes a moral status not attained by the vast majority of living things. but of assessments of the interests of animals conducted without reference to human interests or experience. but many of the things one ought to do are in no way tied to another's entitlement. simply in being alive. Volume 22. The assertion that all animals. 69 . as in our dealings with other human beings. We must not infer. “The Case for the use of Animals in Biomedical Research”. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. that a live being has. and it is a serious mistake to suppose that they are. or rabbit dissected without government permission or the prospect of government scrutiny. The New England Journal of Medicine. Schmahmann and Lori J. but in the contemplated nonspeciesist world. “The Case for the use of Animals in Biomedical Research”. In our dealings with animals. a "right" to its life. Humans have such moral capacities. even in its simplest forms. not of competing human interests. Carl Cohen. and wholly without warrant. Rights entail obligations. 1995. To animate life. Polacheck. What sort of fearsome bureaucracy would purport to institutionalize. the "rights" of individual animals would exist in competition with the rights of individual humans. but of assumptions about the interests of animals assessed by the government apart from human interests or experience. standardize. or humanitarian-or the delegation of power to it by individuals. PlanetDebate. Granting animal rights would radically increase the power of the government. Volume 315. no rat could be harmed.-however. 1986. chicken cooked. Carl Cohen. They are not morally self-legislative. we give a certain natural reverence. intrusive structure which would erect barriers to human conduct on the strength. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. 1986. only because they are alive and have interests. It does not follow from this. therefore. If some government agency were given the power to act in the interest of animals. that we are morally free to do anything we please to animals. therefore. The New England Journal of Medicine. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.Minh A. Thus. Rights and obligations are not reciprocals of one another. we do not violate their rights. and do possess rights. and therefore cannot possess rights. and write regulations pertaining to animals' rights and interests implicated by all legislation? What kind of free-ranging commissions of inquiry would courts become if the requirements of human standing62 were removed and any advocate or group of advocates purporting to speak for any animal were entitled judicial access to press the animal's rights and to argue the animal's case? Life is not a sufficient condition to grant a right to life. esthetic. where there would be no hierarchy within the animal kingdom just as there would be no hierarchy between humans and animals.

The New England Journal of Medicine. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. such as that of "civil rights" for beings that cannot articulate their own interests and about whose true sapience. Volume 315. animals have never had. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. Our moral and legal systems cannot accommodate a theory that purports to detach decisions as to how we should treat animals from an anthropocentric reference point and have these decisions revolve around some other concept. awareness. or the need to advance sci. Polacheck.63 When rabbits ruin vital crops the rabbits must be exterminated.Minh A. so only humans can have rights. These responsibilities are derived. knowledge of death. Volume 22. 1995.ence.64 When human medical advances require vivisection. Animals are of such a kind that it is impossible for them. vivisection may continue without unnecessary harm but with such harm as may be necessary for its purpose. Polacheck.com 70 Human interests must always trump animal interests. Only humans can consent. whether it be in the environment. the need to show compassion. to give or withhold voluntary consent or to make a moral choice. Such legislation does not address animals as beings with rights. Current law sufficiently protects the interests of animals without recognizing their rights. Persons who are unable. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. These interests could be aesthetic or humanitarian and could seek to weigh all the factors the range of human dialog about animals includes. Our lack of understanding of animals’ legal interests makes the positions untenable. Number 14. David R. When overpopulation of deer threaten a water supply the deer must be culled. The capacity for moral judgment that distinguishes humans from animals is not a test to be administered to human beings one by one. 1986. because of some disability. in principle. Schmahmann and Lori J. We do not see how a legal system in which human rights are enshrined could approach these matters differently. and without due process for the deer. The issue is one of kind. Volume 22. Polacheck. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. the touchstone-must be human interests. that must be weighed. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. not any supposed interest in an anthropomorphized rat or a Disneyfied rabbit. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. but rather as beings toward which humans have responsibilities. David R. What humans retain when disabled. PlanetDebate. But it is human interest. “The Case for the use of Animals in Biomedical Research”. not from some conception that animals possess claims against humans. Schmahmann and Lori J. Carl Cohen. and value of life we know so little. 1995. but rather from a recognition that human interests and esthetic sensibilities are impacted by our treatment of animals. The choices they make freely must be respected. 70 . Humans are of such a kind that they may be the subject of experiments only with their voluntary consent. to perform the full moral functions natural to human beings are certainly not for that reason ejected from the moral community. The only measure-true north. Schmahmann and Lori J. David R. 1995. Volume 22. State and federal legislation that presently regulates human interaction with animals is consistent with the views that only humans possess rights and that animal suffering may be an unavoidable consequence of some human activities.

Legislation that currently protects animals is human-centric. Racists. however — between (for example) humans on the one hand and cats or rats on the other — the morally relevant differences are enormous. Human beings do have rights. by applying some moral rule to the facts of a case. Volume 315. or the exhibition of preference. Conditioning. is unesthetic and inconsistent with a humane view of our place in our environment Analogies between animal rights and racism do not make sense. Schmahmann and Lori J. 71 . The supposition of such differences has led to outright horror. Carl Cohen.com 71 Only humans can follow moral codes. 1986. The New England Journal of Medicine. or dependence on one another. Number 14. Racism has no rational ground whatever. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. Patterns of conduct are not at issue. instinct. PlanetDebate. fear. and the like. Analogies between human families and those of monkeys. or between human communities and those of wolves. Between species of animate life. The moral restraints imposed by humans on themselves are thus highly abstract and are often in conflict with the self-interest of the agent. No dispute here. neither sex being entitled by right to greater respect or concern than the other. “The Case for the use of Animals in Biomedical Research”. The interests in the balance are the various human interests that may be affected by the way we interact with animals. does not approach autonomous morality in this fundamental sense. and intelligence all contribute to species survival. even if acting on the basis of mistaken factual beliefs. but only they — never wolves or monkeys — can discern. This criticism misses the central point.66 the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). 1995. Humans engage in moral reflection. Carl Cohen. theirs is a moral status very different from that of cats or rats. or care for the young. such as the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The same is true of the sexes. David R. Animals do indeed exhibit remarkable behavior at times. Volume 22. Humans act immorally often enough. 1986. even when most intelligent and most endearing.67 and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Number 14. recognizing just claims against their own interest. It is not the ability to communicate or to reason. humans are members of moral communities.Minh A. The major federal animal legislation. that a given act ought or ought not to be performed. Membership in a community of moral agents nevertheless remains impossible for them. Polacheck. humans are morally autonomous. the perceived interests of animals are of impor-tance only insofar as it is assumed that mistreatment of animals. Communal behavior among animals. Differing degrees of respect or concern for humans for no other reason than that they are members of different races is an injustice totally without foundation in the nature of the races themselves. The New England Journal of Medicine. Volume 315. especially the gratuitous mistreatment of animals. so only humans can have rights. “The Case for the use of Animals in Biomedical Research”. or any such behavior that marks the critical divide. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review.68 are-like all legislation-products of a balancing of competing interests. do grave moral wrong precisely because there is no morally relevant distinction among the races. are entirely beside the point. Actors subject to moral judgment must be capable of grasping the generality of an ethical premise in a practical syllogism. and almost universally appreciated. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.

Schmahmann and Lori J. “The Case for the use of Animals in Biomedical Research”. 1986. Individual duties dejustify animal rights. If all forms of animate life — or vertebrate animal life? — must be treated equally. farming. as a principal duty in their 72 . and if therefore in evaluating a research program the pains of a rodent count equally with the pains of a human. “The Case for the use of Animals in Biomedical Research”. David R.95 Discrimination between species is necessary and right."171 To satisfy the standing requirement. Carl Cohen. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. clothes manufacturing. we are forced to conclude (1) that neither humans nor rodents possess rights.l72 Plaintiffs lack standing to assert a claim based on a "generalized grievance" shared by all or a large class of citizens. actual injury caused by the alleged legal violation. the Court noted that many types of animal killing. Number 14. it is essential for right conduct. Number 14. 1995. Eating. to misapprehend their true obligations.94 In so holding. Volume 315. Humans owe to other humans a degree of moral regard that cannot be owed to animals. hunting. Schmahmann and Lori J. Both alternatives are absurd. Volume 315.Minh A. the United States Supreme Court addressed the constitutionality of a municipal ban on ritual animal sacrifice. In Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye. v. Animals lack legal standing because they don’t have concrete interests. Polacheck. or (2) that rodents possess all the rights that humans possess. research. Some humans take on the obligation to support and heal others. 1986. 1995. City of Hialeah. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. Yet one or the other must be swallowed if the moral equality of all species is to be defended.com 72 Animal rights potentially violate the First Amendment. both humans and animals. PlanetDebate. plaintiffs seeking relief in federal court must show that they have suffered a concrete. because those who will not make the morally relevant distinctions among species are almost certain. and euthanasia of stray dogs and cats were either permitted or approved of by the statute and city ordinance in question.93 The Court held that a city ordinance which entirely banned ritual animal sacrifice improperly burdened religion in violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.l73 Furthermore. David R. the extermination of mice and rats. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. Inc. Carl Cohen. The Supreme Court has recognized that animal sacrifice may be a protected aspect of religious worship. Polacheck. such as fishing. Volume 22. plaintiffs must assert their own legal rights and interests and cannot base their claim for relief upon the interests of third parties. The analogy between speciesism and racism is insidious. Speciesism is not merely plausible. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. Every sensitive moral judgment requires that the differing natures of the beings to whom obligations are owed be considered. in consequence. The Supreme Court has articulated the constitutional standing issue as "whether the plaintiff has 'alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy' as to warrant his invocation of federal court jurisdiction and to justify exercise of the court's remedial powers on his behalf. The New England Journal of Medicine. and education are not the only endeavors in which society must accept some form of harm to animals. The New England Journal of Medicine. Volume 22. I am a speciesist.

and would long continue had animals not been used. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. 1986. The New England Journal of Medicine. Because animals do not possess standing to sue. the AWA. Schmahmann and Lori J." "Animal liberationists do not separate out the human animal. the MMPA. “The Case for the use of Animals in Biomedical Research”. would be suffered now. the predictable gains in human (and animal) well-being that are probably achievable in the future but that will not be achieved if the decision is made now to desist from such research or to curtail it. to do their duty. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. Polacheck. In cases involving our animal laws. If biomedical investigators abandon the effective pursuit of their professional objectives because they are convinced that they may not do to animals what the service of humans requires. the law of standing mandates that the person be among those actually injured by the alleged legal violation and be within the "zone of interests" of the relevant statute. Every disease eliminated. to experimentation using animals. When balancing the pleasures and pains resulting from the use of animals in research. is critical because such a focus confines judicial inquiry to cases or controversies directly involving people. people have been injured. Carl Cohen. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. Refusing to recognize the moral differences among species is a sure path to calamity."15 Only people can bring lawsuits to court under current animal protection laws. David R. if at all. 73 . "so there is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. every prosthetic device implanted — indeed. Volume 22. Schmahmann and Lori J. the fulfillment of that duty may require the sacrifice of many animals. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. (The largest animal rights group in the country is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Animal rights would violate human well-being. Polacheck. they will fail. Granting legal standing to animals would go beyond the scope of the judiciary’s duties. and the NEPA.com 73 lives.181 Thus. The resolution of disputes between animals and people or between various animal species is simply not within the scope of the judiciary's duties. 1995. virtually every modern medical therapy is due. objectively. calls research using animal subjects "fascism" and "supremacism. 1995. in cases brought by individuals and organizations under the ESA.Minh A. every surgical procedure invented. Nor may we ignore. the search for an actual human injury often leads to tangential inquiries into topics such as the plaintiff's vacation preferences and feelings about animals.212 The focus on injury in fact. we must not fail to place on the scales the terrible pains that would have resulted. David R. in the balancing process. every method of pain relief devised. however. animal laws must be enforced either by the government or by individuals and private organizations.l80 The fact that an animal or the animal's habitat may have been harmed is simply insufficient to establish standing for that animal. in part or in whole." she says. Number 14. Volume 22. When a person brings a private action. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. Volume 315. its codirector. PlanetDebate. Ingrid Newkirk. every vaccine developed. the threshold inquiry is often how. They're all mammals.

Giving animals rights would prevent us from putting our interests over theirs. Ethics and Behavior. We have no choice but to engage in animal testing. Standing forces both litigants and courts to address situations involving animals from a human perspective. the only perspective from which any of us are truly qualified to analyze an issue. they have rights. that such a postulation is true. culture. Nor could we honestly claim that we kill research animals in self-defense. Polacheck.Minh A. thank God—and have failed. it is not necessarily true that because history is replete with examples of obduracy and ignorance in making political distinctions. 1997. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. it does not follow that political empowerment is a constantly expanding process. Polacheck. as it would have been an outrage to do so with the Salk and 74 . but we have rights too. David R. although we may have a weighty interest in learning. most of them children.. "a refusal to recognize rights is a dubious position to take in America .com 74 Courts are not qualified to examine animal interests. or history or because they conflict with other valued rights. Many vaccines have been tried—not on children. The killer disease for which a vaccine now is needed most desperately is malaria. David R. To test that vaccine first on children would be an outrage. Volume 7. Number 2. Carl Cohen. Schmahmann and Lori J. say. But very recently. PlanetDebate.. While it may be true that in the context of the relatively brief span of American history the experience of women and African-Americans has been one of ascending from subordination to relative political empowerment. after decades of effort. Schmahmann and Lori J. destined eventually to empower not only animals but even other entities not yet fully identified. 1997. 1995. “Do Animals Have Rights?”. and our rights override theirs. If animals have rights. The analysis that equates animal rights with the rights of women and African-Americans is as inappropriate as the equation is distasteful. For one thing. there is no credibility to the distinctions now made between animals and humans.. how to vaccinate against polio or other diseases. we learned how to make a vaccine that does. Volume 22. “Do Animals Have Rights?”. "219 It is doubtful. “The Case Against Animal Rights”." That may be true in some cases. many of whom will have died in the process. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. with complete success. A safe vaccine for humans we do not yet have—but soon we will have it. inoculate mice against malaria. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. thanks to the use of those mice. they certainly have the right not to be killed to advance the interests of others. neither of which are proper functions for our courts. we do not have a right to learn such things. When animal rights activists seek judicial intervention on behalf of animals in situations that involve no human injuries. Ethics and Behavior. which kills about 2 million people each year. they essentially ask courts to make national animal policy and to act as guardians for animals. particularly so in the American political tradition. Carl Cohen. Volume 22. whatever rights those others may have. Some may say. One legal writer postulates that as a general proposition. are roundly refused because they have no grounding in morality. however. There are many claimed "rights" which. 1995. Volume 7. they did not attack us. but it will not solve the problem because. "Well. Number 2. Comparing animal rights movements to civil rights movements is wrong. and the progression upon which those who make it rely is not inexorable.

is in most research a phantasm. Animal rights are not inevitable – they should be rejected. then our right of self-defense may enter. with the possible exception of Caligula's Rome. to kill them—unless perchance a rat attacks a person or a human baby. there is and will be no way to determine the reliability and safety of new vaccines without repeated tests on live organisms.Minh A. primates) or we will never have such vaccines. all medical investigations relying on them. and so on. I suppose. Volume 22. ever. because we certainly may not use human children to test them. If animals have moral standing. has ever politically empowered living animals. their rights would be inviolable. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights. however. Nor should ours do so now.com 75 Sabin polio vaccines years ago. “Do Animals Have Rights?”. we humans can have no right. human history abounds in instances of enslavement and liberation. or any other animal subjects—which includes most studies and all the most important studies of certain kinds—will have to stop. Ethics and Behavior. Bear in mind that the replacement of animal subjects by computer simulations. Therefore. David R. Carl Cohen. PlanetDebate. 75 . Biomedical investigations using animal subjects (and of course all uses of animals as food) will have to stop. their first use on a living organism is inescapably experimental. and medical investigations commonly require that many mice and rats be killed. Polacheck. or tissue samples. a fantasy. Far from substantiating an argument that history suggests an inevitable empowerment of animals. But medical investigations cannot honesdy be described as self-defense. For one thing. suggests the opposite. We use mice or monkeys because there is no other way. in fact. we will use mice (or as we develop an AIDS vaccine. and the political fortunes of women have varied from cultures that are matriarchal to those with prevailing attitudes quite different. If Regan is correct about the moral standing of rats. history. Schmahmann and Lori J. as rats sometimes do. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. “The Case Against Animal Rights”. Number 2. No society. And there never will be another way because untested vaccines are very dangerous. 1995. 1997. Volume 7. Therefore.

76 . Luong served as the founding curriculum director at the Lincoln-Douglas debate institutes at Stanford University. Brown University. Dr. His previous appointments include director of public speaking and debate at the University of California at Berkeley. and the National Debate Forum. partner nations.S. and international relations. a semifinalist at NFL Nationals and later nationally successful coach. University of California at Berkeley. Boston Financial. and Visiting Fellow in International Security at the Watson Institute for International Affairs. or the United Nations. Luong is Assistant Director of International Security Studies. and Director of the Ivy Scholars Program at Yale University. PlanetDebate. and most recently was appointed as Faculty Fellow at the Yale School of Management. and Economics. Luong taught under the auspices of the Forrest Mars Sr. For nearly a decade.com 76 About the author/editor: Dr. E*Trade. Visiting Professorship in Ethics. The views expressed in this topic briefing and other open-source work are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Yale University. privacy and civil liberties. Associate Director of the Brady-Johnson Center in Grand Strategy.luong@yale. EquiServe. BankOne. Dr. Dr. provided argument and topic analysis assistance in preparing this topic briefing. General Motors. an endowed fund that promoted teaching by leaders in the business and policy communities. served a two-year term as International Affairs Council Fellow at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies. and New England Financial/Metropolitan Life. with which the author maintains advising relationships. Luong served as a corporate consultant and senior advisor to a number of Fortune 500 companies and worked on critical projects for industry-leading organizations such as: AT&T. Nick Coburn-Palo.S. Monitor Group. Dr. and department chair and instructor of communication studies at the Pinewood School (CA). Department of Defense and U. provided argument and research assistance in preparing the strategy and quotation sections of this topic briefing. Government and its agencies such as the U. espionage and intelligence.S.edu/). crisis management. Luong & Company Tutorial September-October 2011 National Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas topic Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.edu>. Intelligence Community. ExxonMobil. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions. director of debate at San Francisco State University. Luong also holds academic appointments at Brown University as Adjunct Lecturer of Public Policy at the A. MA. public policy. MPA.Minh A. Adjunct Lecturer in Political Science. doctoral candidate in political science at Brown University and former national championship debater and coach. He can be reached at <minh. He founded and directs the Ivy Scholars Program for High School Student Leaders at Yale University (http://ivyscholars. Grand Strategy. NFC-Austin. Dr.S. the U. Rick Brundage. leadership. now Comcast). Politics. governments of U.yale. from 2000-2006. MediaOne (later AT&T Broadband. Luong teaches courses on national and global security.a. ethics and negotiations. Minh A.

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