The Principles of Animal Rights


Animal rights, according to Walker and Ivanhoe, are defined by several fundamental principles. The first is that animals have inherent value and should be treated with respect. This means that people should not use them merely as tools for human purposes but rather as subjects of moral concern. Second, animals have interests that must be taken into account in any decision made about them. These interests include the basic needs of food, water, shelter, and freedom from pain and suffering. Finally, the principles of animal rights require us to take into account the fact that animals are sentient beings capable of experiencing both positive and negative emotions. As such, they deserve human compassion and consideration as any other creature such human. The animals should be treated with care and love, and any pain caused to them should be that which benefits them or that which is not elongated.

Regarding my topic, “Animal Rights,” the authors argue that to assess the moral status of animals, people should adopt a virtuous ethical perspective. From this perspective, the question of whether an animal has moral status does not hinge on whether the animal is capable of experiencing pain (as it would if humans were using a consequentialist ethic). But rather on what kind of character traits the animal possesses. Some virtues that are particularly important when it comes to human dealings with animals include compassion, kindness, and mercy (Walker & Ivanhoe, 2007). The authors argue that humans should try to minimize the amount of suffering people cause animals whenever possible and that they should always be willing to extend them compassion and mercy.

Animal Rights

There are three major positions one can take on the applied ethics issue of “animal rights”. First, animals have no inherent value or moral status, and so their interests may be disregarded in favor of human interests. Second, animals have some inherent value or moral status, but this is outweighed by the much greater importance of human beings. Third, animals have inherent value and moral status, and this should be given serious consideration in making decisions about how they ought to be treated. The third one is the authors’ view, which holds that animals need to be treated with consideration because they possess moral status and inherent value. Animals should be treated with serious consideration for several reasons. The authors support this in different ways: first, animals are sentient beings capable of experiencing a wide range of emotions, from joy and love to suffering and fear (Walker & Ivanhoe, 2007). This means that animals are subject to the same basic ethical principles as humans, including the principle of prima facie beneficence, which requires us to act in ways that promote the welfare of others.

Second, even if humans assume that animals are not equally morally valuable as humans, there are compelling practical reasons for taking their interests into account. Animals rely on humans for their survival and well-being, and so it is in our self-interest to treat them well. Third, animal cruelty often leads to health and environmental problems; for example, when animals are mistreated, they may become stressed, and their immune systems may be weakened. This can lead to them becoming more susceptible to illness and disease, which can then be transmitted to other animals and humans. In addition, animal cruelty can lead to habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity (Walker & Ivanhoe, 2007). This happens when animals are forced from their natural habitats to make room for farms or other development projects. Moreover, the pollutants released into the environment as a result of animal cruelty can wreak havoc on local ecosystems. All of these impacts have serious implications for the environment and human health. Animal cruelty is thus not only an ethical issue but also a pressing environmental concern.

One potential problem with the author’s position is that it may be difficult to determine what qualifies as “serious consideration.” For example, if an animal is being raised for food, these animals at one point will have to be slaughtered. Similarly, human needs and use animal flesh as a source of protein, and one way to consume an animal is by first killing it. Conversely, animals are used in scientific experiments, and this means that for the students to learn the animals’ internal organs better, then they have to be slaughtered. Moreover, when the animals get sick, they have to be treated, and one way of doing this is by injecting them, which causes them pain. The authors’ argument is not stronger than mine but almost the same since I stated that today’s universe lives to exploit animals. This exploitation exists in terms of clothing, entertainment, and food, which are the same points that the authors mentioned; I, therefore, agree with the author’s point of view.

There are several reasons why the authors may have considered human exploitation of animals to get food not to be a violation of animal rights. First, it is important to note that the vast majority of animals exploited for food by humans are not sentient beings. Sentience, or the capacity to feel pain and suffering, is one of the key criteria for determining whether an entity has basic rights (Walker & Ivanhoe, 2007). Since most animals used for food production are not sentient, they cannot be said to have violated any basic rights. Second, even if some animals used for food production are sentient, they are typically killed quickly and without any unnecessary suffering. While there may be some instances in which animals used for food production do experience unacceptable levels of suffering, such as in plow, where the pain may be elongated. Similarly, the authors do not consider treating animals by injection as a violation of their rights since this is one way to care for their health. Using one animal for research learning could not have been considered to be infringing on animals’ rights since it helps humans understand animals’ bodies so that they can be treated well when they are sick.


In conclusion, it is true that animals have emotions and feel pain, so, therefore, they should be treated with the same consideration as humans. Animals are capable of suffering, and humans have a moral obligation to do what we can to reduce their suffering. People should always ask themselves how their actions will affect other living beings and try to make choices that reflect their compassion for all creatures. The authors may not have classified getting food and clothes and treating them as animals’ rights breaches because the killing is performed too quickly without any pain realized, and every living thing must at one-point die in life. Treating animals by injection might not have been perceived as animal rights abuse because it is one way of caring for them.


Walker, R. L., & Ivanhoe, P. J. (Eds.). (2007). Working virtue: Virtue ethics and contemporary moral problems. Clarendon Press.

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