R.S - Animal Rights

Topics: Hinduism, Buddhism, Animal rights Pages: 14 (5015 words) Published: July 9, 2013
Task:

Description: “In this project you will be investigating the ethical issues that surround the treatment of animals as well as Hindu and Muslim attitudes towards this issue.”

Introduction

In this response, I will be evaluating whether animals deserve the right to protection, and I will illustrate my answer through drawing on several different examples. Firstly, I will define the concepts ‘ethics’ and ‘rights’ and then I will discuss issues surrounding animal ethics. Secondly, I will examine the Hindu and Muslim perspectives in relation to animal ethics. Thirdly, I will offer my opinion about the contrasting religious viewpoints and discuss their similarities and differences. Fourthly, I will give two reasons why someone may agree or disagree with the following quote about “whether animals should have rights?” by drawing on examples from different religious texts to support their positions. Fifthly, I will discuss a famous religious person who argues that animals and humans have the same status and should be treated equally. Next, I will explore the different views of three Buddhist Schools of Thought to illustrate the point that despite their different emphases, they all believe that animals are sacred. In my conclusion, I will discuss my own and others views in relation to whether animals should have rights.

Definitions of the concepts of Ethics and Rights
According to online Oxford English dictionary “Ethics are defined as moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity; the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles: neither metaphysics nor ethics is the home of religion”. [1]. “Rights are defined as: (1) morally good, justified, or acceptable; (2) true or correct as a fact; (3) correct in one’s opinion or judgement; (4) according to what is correct for a particular situation; (5) best or most appropriate for a particular situation; (6) socially fashionable or important; (7) in a satisfactory, sound, or normal state or condition; (8) on, towards, or relating to the side of a human body or of a thing which is to the east when the person or thing is facing north; (9) relating to a person or group favouring conservative views”.[2]

Animal Ethics

There are many questions in relation to animal ethics. Some ask: why animals deserve protection? Do animals have rights? If they have rights, why do they have them? What does this mean and how can this affect us? If animals have rights, should all animals have rights? Should all animals have the same rights? PETA an animal rights organisation writes that in countries around the world, animals are being abused every day. “They are imprisoned, beaten, and kept in chains to make them perform for humans' "entertainment"; they are disfigured and confined to minute cages so that we can kill them and eat them; they are burned, blinded, poisoned, and cut up alive in the name of "science"; they are electrocuted, strangled, and skinned alive so that people can wear them as coats; and worse. The abuse that animals suffer at human hands is heart-breaking, sickening, and infuriating. It's even more so when we realize that the everyday choices we make - such as what we eat for lunch and the kind of shampoo we buy - may be directly supporting some of this abuse. But as hard as it is to think about, we can't stop animals' suffering if we simply look the other way and pretend it isn't happening. Some people believe that animals don't have rights or that even if they do, those rights should count for less than human wishes. But that doesn't give human beings a moral OK to treat animals badly: Even if animals don't have rights, human beings may still have a moral duty not to mistreat them.”[3]

Islamic beliefs

Now, I will examine what Muslims believe. Muslims believe that everything living was created by Allah; Allah loves all animals; animals exist for the benefit of human beings; and animals must be treated with kindness and...
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