Animal Rights (Point Counterpoint) by Kevin Hile

By Kevin Hile

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Extra info for Animal Rights (Point Counterpoint)

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After all, a robot can be programmed to act intelligently, but it is only a machine. This question brings us to animal emotions. Animals may have emotions. Perhaps a more difficult argument against the rights of animals is that they are not capable of experiencing feelings or emotions in the same way people do. Science has often reduced nonhuman species to biological machines that merely adapt and react according to instincts that have been programmed into them through inherited traits. Explanations for animal behavior are based on the idea that animals only do things that will help them or their offspring survive and thus perpetuate their genes to the next generation.

Koko understands approximately 2,000 words of spoken English. Koko initiates the majority of conversations with her human companion and typically constructs statements averaging three to six words. ’ ” 4 • Is language a good indication of intelligence? There are many ways that animals can communicate—with sounds, body language, and smells—that are not like human language. Should animal communication skills be judged based on how similar they are to human language? With the many similarities between higher apes and people, one might not be too surprised that chimps and gorillas can learn to communicate with humans, at least on a basic level.

In addition to the general sentiment that human law is for human beings alone, those who oppose the animal rights movement do so because they feel that raising the status of animals would subsequently lower the status of human beings by denying that we have qualities that set us apart from other species. ” 17 The overzealous demand for animal rights may lead to misanthropy. CntrPnt1 50 1/14/04 6:58 AM Page 50 ANIMAL RIGHTS viewpoint. A now somewhat infamous quote made by PETA president Ingrid Newkirk in 1983 is often used to represent how animal rightists feel about their fellow human beings: “[A]nimal liberationists do not separate out the human animal, so there is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights.

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